India: Flower business blooms, traders look forward to next week

The flower business has begun to boom at the Gultekdi wholesale market in Pune, West India, with vendors reporting a 15-20% increase in trade and inflow over the past couple of days as devotees geared up to visit religious places which are allowed to open from Thursday. The surge in demand has also caused an increase in flower prices in the retail market. Retailers also attributed the price rise to recent rain, which damaged ready-to-harvest flowers.

Mohini Karla, who purchased flowers ahead of Navaratra, said the price rise was unexpected. “I expected a drop in prices as flowers are available in abundance, but retailers told me that more than 50% of the flowers were damaged by the recent rain. Marigold was being sold for at least Rs120/kg — an Rs20 increase,” Karla said.

“The market is in revival mode now. There has been an increase in the inflow of flower consignments in the past few days. Prices of all types of flowers are stable. We are positive that the market will see more business; next week is crucial. From Sunday, we are expecting a rise in business leading up to the last day of Navaratra,” Arun Veer, head of the flower sellers’ body at Gultekdi, said.

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