Coronavirus continues to disrupt flower business

As the coronavirus shows no signs of slowing down, the flower industry also feels the impact of supply chain disruptions.

The Kunming Dounan Flower Market, the largest fresh cut flower trading market in Asia, suspended service from Thursday amid the epidemic outbreak, according to local epidemic control headquarters, Xinhua reports. The market had previously shut down flower and plant trading, tourism and catering services on Jan. 26 to avoid the risk of infection caused by crowd gathering.

Singapore florists
Florists in Singapore are also having a hard time, with Valentine's Day just a week away and the prices of flowers already shooting up.

The popular long-stemmed rose, for instance, now costs as much as $10 a stalk, five times that from the usual $2. A bouquet of 12 such roses now costs around $120.

While the coronavirus outbreak originating from Wuhan has not contributed to an increase in flower prices for now, it has led to uncertainty over flower imports from China and added worry to florists during a busy period, according to The Straits Times.

Mr Joseph Soh, managing director of Xpressflower.com, which has both brick-and-mortar and online stores, said the coronavirus situation has left many florists "scrambling to source from other locations".

Far East Orchid, for instance, has diverted its orders to other parts of the world, while Xpressflower.com has prepared simplified packaging with fewer side flowers. As most side flowers are sourced from China, the change in packing thus decreases the florist's reliance on such shipments.

Trade routes closed
The coronavirus continues to shut down airports and seaports around the world, with many logistics companies choosing to avoid Chinese cities for now. BDP International has an overview of companies that have suspended trade routes to China.


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