It was one of the first product groups for which the Royal FloraHolland supply regulation stopped, and so far this group is performing well on the clock. The product in question is the alstroemeria. Over the last weeks the demand and prices on the clock were pleasing. All in all it seems that this product group is one of the products that has suffered the least from the COVID-19 situation. This is explained by Amerik de Best, auctioneer at Aalsmeer.
After having been an auctioneer at the rose clocks at the Royal FloraHolland location in Rijnsburg for several years, Amerik switched locations and product groups last year. Now, he is auctioneer at the alstroemeria clocks in Aalsmeer and is very pleased with the performance of the alstroemerias over the last weeks.
One of the first products for which the new supply regulations stopped
At first, De Best explains, the numbers at the clock were a bit lower, but they increased quickly after. "From Tuesday 24 March 2020 a temporary new supply regulation was in force for the clock supply. For every product group A2 and B quality flowers and plants were no longer allowed to be be supplied. On top of that, only a percentage of flowers could be supplied to the auction. As a result the numbers decreased a bit, but as demand for alstroemerias was strong, it was one of the first product groups for which the new supply scheme expired on April 29."
And since then, the supply, demand as well as the prices increased. The main market for the alstroemeria is Europe, particularly Germany, but they are seeing more and more clients from the large Eastern European countries starting to buy at the clock again. And with positive results regarding the prices. "The average price is more or less similar to last year, and for several varieties, it is even higher compared to last year."
Why this high demand?
The alstroemeria seems to be a product that is in high demand at the moment, but what could be the reason? De Best: "In this product group, I only have one year of experience, but it seems that the long vase life is valued, and as there was a shortage of roses on the clock over the last weeks, it might also have been the case that some took it as an alternative and were pleased with it. Besides the vase life, there is a broad range of varieties and it works very well in bouquets, so it's quite a versatile product."
Logistical challenges for African and South American growers
Even though the prices at the clock are at a similar level compared to last year, the amounts are still a bit lower. According to De Best, the main reason is the logistical challenges that growers in Africa and South America are dealing with. "Just like we see in the roses, the growers growing alstroemerias in Kenya and Colombia are experiencing a lack of air freight capacity for the shipments to the Netherlands."
Good hopes for the coming week
According to Amerik, last week has been a very good week, and he has even higher hopes for this week. "It is getting a bit colder, and this is always better for the trade than the hot sunny weather."