"We are seeing prices we've never seen before"

Netherlands: Scarcity sends chrysanthemum prices through the roof

Even though the high temperatures, the prices for chrysanthemum cut flowers are high. The reason is scarcity. Due to the uncertain market situation and the decreased supply for the summer season, the supply is much lower than usual during this time of the year. "By about 30 percent", chrysanthemum grower Dennis Immerzeel told a Dutch newspaper, and "the prices - even though the hot weather - aren't decreasing either", flower trader Dave van der Meer adds.

"Due to COVID-19, we all planted less", says Ronald Olshoorn of Arcadia Chrysanten. "Partly because the supply of cuttings was an issue, but mainly to spread the risk. As we have a cultivation period of about 10 weeks, the offer is a lot less. To give an example; during the worst of the crisis, we were about 1/3 empty. And as the situation continued for several weeks, you can imagine that this scarcity will hold on for several weeks, till about week 32."

The drop in price for spray chrysanthemums might even be higher than for the disbud chrysanthemums, which in amounts represent a smaller market. Therefore, the spray has been re-planted less, which now results in a higher peak regarding price. "We are seeing prices we've never seen before. Particularly in the UK they are doing incredible; the Russian market, also an important market for us, is however not recovered yet. "of course, other products are benefiting, but", he says carefully, "it might change as well. When something is too expensive, or remains too expensive, the consumer will start looking for substitutes."

Con Kester, Sales Manager at Zentoo confirms the picture painted above. "Mid-March, we thought that the world has ended. The growers reacted by planting less varieties and we notice it now. Usually this is the period where the prices drop drastically, but so far, we are not seeing it happening. The demand did not increase, the usual demand is even more difficult to supply due to all restrictions and the changing situations regarding the borders and transport. The increase in price is a result of the scarcity. We're not talking about an increase of 5 cents per stem, but tens of cents per stem. Particularly in the spray chrysanthemums, the uplift is very high."

Besides chrysanthemums several other cut flowers, as well as bedding plants and houseplants, like the phalaenopsis are performing well. The picture is not equally rosy for all crop groups; gerbera and freesia for example are said to have mediocre turnovers.

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