Covid-19 lockdowns forced the industry to shift into survival mode, but the head of NZ Bloom said the industry rebounded with sizeable payoffs for growers last year. Managing director David Ballard told RNZ growers were getting strong prices, but international demand for orchids was mixed.
"The big change this year from last year is that the yen has weakened a lot. It's sitting at, I think, nearly a 30-year low against the US dollar," he said.
Ballard said that many growers were pivoting to export to the strong North American market, but it was not all plain sailing there either. "North America, at the moment, is the stronger market in the world," he said. "My caution at the moment is that we're just coming into the slowdown around July the 4th there, so we've got a difficult couple of weeks to navigate through that holiday period.
"But generally, we're expecting the whole season to work out to be a pretty good year for the growers." The industry had not been immune to the chronic labor shortages and global freight disruptions many exporters were facing, Ballard said.
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