The export value of flowers and plants from the Netherlands to Germany was 5% higher in the first four months of 2016 compared with last year, but the export to Britain and France declined.
Export to Germany increased by 5% to EUR 662 million while the export to Britain (−2% to 340 million) and France (−3% to 240 million) decreased. The top three destinations for flowers and plants from the Netherlands are maintaining their market share of nearly 60%.
Export from the Netherlands to Germany has declined since the end of 2014, and the German market share has fallen by more than two percentage points to below 28%. Thanks to the increase in the past few months, the German market share has risen again, to a little over 31%.
In the first four months of 2015, the flower and plant export to market-leader Germany was EUR 631 million, which was 6% lower than during the first four months of 2014. The numbers two and three, Britain and France, showed a growth of 17% and 15% to EUR 345 million and EUR 248 million in 2015, respectively. These roles have now been reversed.
Overall, the Dutch export value of flowers and plants is maintaining a slim lead of 1% compared with last year. This rise is due to an increase of 4% to EUR 561 million in the month of April 2016. VGB announced that the total export turnover in the first four months of 2016 was EUR 2.1 billion, based on data from Floridata. The VGB is the Dutch trade association for domestic, export and import wholesale of flowers and plants.
Plants are flourishing
Plant sales did particularly well in April 2016 and showed an increase of 11% to EUR 256 million. A narrow lead in the first quarter was reinforced by an increase of 3% to EUR 796 million. The opposite was true for flowers in the month of April 2016. April 2016 closed with a decline of 1% to EUR 305 million, so the lead fell to less than 1 percent to an ample EUR 1.3 billion.
This market development seems to be related to the favourable weather conditions for the sale of garden, balcony, and patio plants in large parts of Europe.
Six countries within the top 10 destinations for flowers and plants from the Netherlands were still showing a shortfall in the first four months of 2015. In April 2016, only three countries ended with a deficit: alongside Britain and France, Russia is also buying fewer flowers and plants, and a decline of 41% in April 2016 was the biggest monthly drop in the past two years. The cumulative decline is 32%.
Russia’s share halved
Russia was previously number 4, but their market share has now halved to 2.5%, and Russia’s pulling force disappeared into thin air. This decline has been compensated by the above-average growth in Britain, although this market growth of 14% in 2015, and a gain of the market share by 1.6 percentage points to 16.6%, has stalled. A possible Brexit, with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, is a doomsday scenario for the Dutch flowers and plant wholesale industry.
After a year of decline, the export from the Netherlands to Austria stayed on the same level as a year ago, at EUR 52 million. The positive development in Poland continues. After an increase in export value of 15% in 2014 and 14% in 2015, the first four months of 2016 are now in double digits: +12% to EUR 70 million. Export of flowers to Poland has risen slightly more than the export of potted and garden plants.