Plant and flower exports from the Netherlands will reach a new record turnover of €6 billion this year. This was announced by Floridata and the VGB, based on the results up until November. “If exporters manage to reach the same turnover in December as they did last year, they’ll go over the historical milestone of €6 billion”, says Wesley van den Berg of Floridata.
During the month of November, plant and flower exports from the Netherlands reached €455 million, which was a 4% increase. Flowers sales went up more (+7%) than plants (0%), which is consistent with this year’s trend. The total export value up until November has reached nearly €5.6 billion. VGB director Matthijs Mesken says it’s an extraordinary achievement. “The longer you’re at the top, the greater the effort needed to maintain your leading position. And the international competition hasn’t been absent.”
Further growth in 2018
Dutch exporters predict further overall growth for 2018. Michiel de Haan of export company Royal Lemkes for example, expects that floricultural exports will continue to grow at the same rate next year. “Most European countries have recovered from the financial crisis. And green is popular again, especially in the Netherlands and in Scandinavia. These countries are trendsetters. And if that trend continues, I predict further shortages in the plant segment.”
Joost Leeuwenburg of trading company L&M, expects a particularly strong increase of sales to the Eastern European markets. “There are still lots of opportunities in that region.” According to Floridata, plant and flower exports to Poland showed another remarkable increase of 22%. The country has become the number six destination for Dutch plant and flower exporters and has been showing a structural growth for a while.
Marco van Zijverden, CEO of market leader Dutch Flower Group, points out that sales to Russia have been picking up again as well. “England is our major concern at the moment. Not just because of the lower exchange rate of the British pound, but mostly because of potential barriers that new customs regulations could create.” A hard Brexit could really get in the way of exports to England, currently still ranked as the second distribution country for the Netherlands, with a share of 14% (€772 million).
Germany (+4%, reaching €1.6 billion up until November) is at the top of the list and France (+2%, reaching €712 million) is number three. After England, Sweden is the second country in the top 10 list of export destinations that shows a decrease (-1%, reaching a total of €163 million). The entire top 10 list of countries together account for 80.5% of the export turnover. This is slightly lower than last year (81,8%) and in 2015 (82,5%). “That means that there’s a bigger spread, which is good for the industry”, indicates Van den Berg.