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Erik Wassenaar, Aalsmeer Auctioneer:

"It's going to be an exciting Valentine's Day"

Valentine's Day is coming up, as was evident in the corridors of auction houses last week. In the blog below, Auctioneer at Royal FloraHolland Erik Wassenaar gives an impression of the Valentine's rush.

At the auction, the first 'signals' of Valentine's Day are already noticeable. Last week, the price picture for roses was good but still somewhat unstable. Many buyers were still waiting to see how the market would develop and not all orders have come in yet. This seems to move closer to Valentine's Day every year. The price of plant auctions also rose considerably.

The picture of the coming week or weeks is an exciting one. Valentine's Day is centered around roses, but let's not forget all the other beautiful things like tulips, lilies, cymbidiums, chrysanthemums and lisianthus. In fact, all flowers and plants.

Exciting for roses
It is a particularly exciting year for roses, both for the suppliers and the buyers. A considerable part of the Dutch rose acreage is currently producing fewer flowers because of the high gas prices. This has already been widely covered in the media. Of course, this does not only apply to roses, but also to other greenhouse cultivated products. It will be exciting to see whether there will be sufficient supply of roses from Kenya. The expectation is that the overall demand will be much greater than the supply and that air freight capacity will be available.

Buyers are eagerly looking for flowers to fill the already received and expected orders. Suppliers are faced with the dilemma of what the cost price will be at the time of delivery; what does a m3 of natural gas cost and what rate will they charge per kilo of air freight?

Bunches of love
The common thread in the run-up to Valentine's Day is whether there will be enough flowers and plants on the clock for everyone to get a good result, as extremely high prices are not good either. "It is quite strange for me to say that as an auctioneer," notes Erik. "After all, every day I'm trying to get as stable a price as possible out of the market. What we should not lose sight of is that if the prices of flowers and plants are too high (we never say too high), the consumer may start looking for a substitute product. And that is just not what we want. But that the consumer is prepared to pay more for a 'bunch of love' on Valentine's Day, is one thing that is certain."

Clock is a great price instrument
In direct trade, it will be extra challenging this year to determine the 'right' price as a leader. For buyers, it will be a challenge to find and/or secure the required numbers at his 'right' price. Because of these uncertainties, this game will continue to be played on the clocks, about which Erik doesn't dare predict the price at the moment: "What a beautiful price instrument the clock is. I foresee a number of days with particularly 'good' prices. I sympathize with the leaders who are not in production at the moment and who have nothing to gain from this."

Connect to grow
Are you a buyer or supplier and would you like to know more about selling or buying through the clock of any flower/plant? Contact the Customer Contact Center of Royal FloraHolland (tel 088 789 89 89) and ask for an auctioneer or account manager. They will be happy to personally guide you through the exciting world of flowers and plants.

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