About Dutch flowers to Russia

"A Women's Day to soon forget"

There is little positive news to report when it comes to the Russian flower trade, as some Dutch companies who'd rather stay anonymous report. It can be summarized as follows: less trade and demand, disappointing prices due to quality problems especially for chrysanthemums, and foreign nations that profit.

Due to the high gas prices at the end of last year, many Dutch growers, especially chrysanthemum growers, left part of their greenhouses empty. Yet it seems that many of them - or whoever they are, the word 'one-day growers' dropped, but surely that can hardly be an adequate explanation - went into maximum production before the holidays. This pushed prices down at the auction in recent weeks.

At the same time, growers everywhere grew under LED, and moisture seemed to be a problem. The quality was often not good, and a lot of direct trade was turned down because growers, due to high gas prices, also asked for very high prices in advance. Understandable but a bit premature in hindsight, as the gas price reached astronomical values but has also dropped significantly.

As for Russia, the question is whether flower consumption is much lower than in other years.

On the one hand, domestic production is growing. On the other hand, purchases from other parts of the world are said to have grown as well. Roses come from South America, flowers from Asia (Vietnam, China, Japan), and, for example, a country like Italy would also have done well. Because those countries also supply a lot of flowers, especially chrysanthemums, which might be lighter, but are also cheaper.

Interesting in this context is that the supplier of cuttings are often the same, the 'smiling' third party, leaving the Dutch grower/trader duo in the lurch and the auction itself with very little to show for its 'governing role.'

Fight, flight, freeze
As far as Ukraine (and, to a lesser extent, Russia) is concerned, there is another sad development, and that is that some of the men who have to buy the flowers for their wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters, teachers, or colleagues have to fight. Or that these women themselves are somewhere in a foreign country.

Finally, it is difficult to estimate if Russian and Ukrainian consumers even want to buy flowers. Women's Day is an important holiday in these countries, but given all the suffering this year, they might skip it.

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