The Chinese Flower and Plant Association hosted a national conference to analyze the conditions of fresh-cut flower production and marketing. The conference took place on the 7th of April. During the conference, Gao Hongling, CEO of Kunming International Flower Auction (KIFA), provided a report on the fresh-cut flower industry in 2021.
Flower production areas are concentrated in specific areas
The Chinese government provides strong support for development in flower production areas. They invest in the construction of large-scale flower production sites, the expansion of the overall surface area devoted to hydroponic flower production, the increase of efficiency in flower production, the improvement of product quality, and the enrichment of product variety. Yunnan is the largest flower producer in China in terms of industrial scale, market supply volume, product variety, and market coverage. Yunnan is one of the world's three largest flower production areas. It also boasts the world's second largest fresh-cut flower trade center. About 70% of the fresh-cut flowers in China come from Yunnan. Although future flower and plant supply will continue to come primarily from Yunnan, other flower production areas are rapidly developing too. In addition,
Fresh-cut flower consumption grows every day
The Kunming Flower Auction Trade Center sold a total of 1.7 billion flowers in 2021, which was an increase of 20.59% compared to 2020. That was also the strongest annual increase in the last five years. The average price per flower was 1.29 yuan [0.20 USD], which was 30.3% higher than in 2020, and also the highest price average at KIFA in the last 20 years. The success rates of flower trades at KIFA reached 94.16%. Peak sales took place in May and August. The average monthly supply volume exceeded 130 million flowers.
It is important to note that the trade volumes of flowers in Guangzhou (South China), Zhengzhou, and Changsha (Central China) all doubled or tripled. These upcoming flower trade centers are rapidly growing. And demand is growing too, especially in and around first-tier cities like Shanghai with easy access to Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui. Although the prices regularly fluctuate, due to the pandemic, the success rate of flower trades remained over 92%.
CEO Gao explained that a lot of the demand comes from household consumption. Many households purchase flowers for day-to-day use. This consumption pattern has pushed prices up for C-grade and D-grade flowers, and even E-grade flowers. This in turn has pulled the average flower price up. At the same time, prices of A-grade and B-grade flowers are pulling away from the prices of C-grade, D-grade, and E-grade flowers. The higher the quality, the higher the price. Flower sales also benefit from the development of e-commerce platforms, especially in second and third-tier markets. There is also great demand for dropshipping, which improves the successful trade rate and the speed of product movement of D-grade and E-grade flowers in particular. However, the growth of online shopping patterns primarily stimulates the sales of C-grade flowers with beautiful flower heads, shiny leaves, and a lack of insects pests, or plant diseases.
Orange flowers are popular
KIFA sold 1,683 different flower varieties in 2021, of which about 710 were rose varieties, which is 17 less than the 727 rose varieties sold in 2020. Of the 710 rose varieties, 480 were single-flower varieties, which is 31 varieties fewer than in 2020. And 230 of the rose varieties were multiple-flower varieties, which is 14 varieties more than in 2020. Peach Snow (champagne), Pink Snow (pink), Diana (pink), Carola (red), Aisha (multi-colored), and Snow (white) are the six most popular varieties. The Peach rose variety is the most popular variety in the Chinese market with an annual sales volume of more than 10,000 roses. The most popular multi-flower roses were multi-colored, orange, or pink. Orange roses dominated the market with a 40% share of the supply volume. The average market price of orange roses was significantly higher than other rose varieties at 1.62 yuan [0.25 USD].
High-quality domestic fresh-cut flowers replace import flowers
The outbreak of Covid-19 has significantly hindered the import, customs clearance, and distribution of imported flowers. High-quality flowers from Yunnan have since dominated the Chinese flower market. Suppliers from Yunnan are strengthening their brand recognition with livestreaming shows and direct sales on popular websites. The division of labor has become more obvious and supply chain efficiency is key in this market.