Up until April, the export value of plants and flowers from the Netherlands went up by 6%, reaching a total of € 2,2 billion. What stands out is the wider spread across countries which, according to Floridata’s figures, has been taking place since 2015. That means that the international trade position is strengthening.
In April, the increase of the export value was limited to € 575 million (3%).
The export value of flowers shows a structurally stronger increase than that of pot and garden plants. According to a further analysis of the Floridata data, the value for plants has increased 3% in the first four months of this year, while the value for flowers has increased by 8%.
The 3% increase in April is the smallest market growth of this year, which brings down the cumulative growth a little. However, Cees Bakker of Anton Spaargaren, one of the Dutch exporters specialising in faraway distribution markets, says he’s very happy with the results so far.
Bakker recognises the relatively stronger increase in sales to countries outside the top 10. “We’re also consciously targeting specific, faraway distribution markets.” According to Floridata, which compiles the export figures for all its members, the export value of the top-10 distribution countries has gone up by 3% so far this year.
The other countries, more than a hundred in total, were good for a 17% increase, reaching a value of € 500 million. The export share of the category ‘other countries’ has been going up from April 2014 until April this year, from 16.5% to 20.5% – an increase of 4 percentage points, in other words, of 25%. It should be noted though, that the top-10 countries still have an 80% share of the export value.”
Robert Roodenburg, director of the VGB says that “the wider spread is an indication that the international position of Dutch plant and flower wholesalers has become stronger the last couple of years.”
Leo Lamboo, director of Holland Indoor Plant, confirms the emergence of the smaller, still relatively unknown distribution markets. “In Hungary, Mother’s Day is celebrated earlier in the year and sales to this country have gone up quite a bit”, he mentions as an example.
The fluctuations in the price formation in the flower and plant wholesale sector, stronger for same day orders than for mediation services, are still very much determined by weather conditions. “After a good spring, hot weather in the summer months can bring demand down”, indicates Lamboo.
“Favourable weather conditions meant a good start to the garden plant segment in April, but after that, demand became smaller again”, adds Leon Buskermolen of Hamiplant. With regards to plants, sales through retail is increasing more than sales via the traditional distribution channels. However, Buskermolen notices positive developments across the wholesale and specialist trade throughout Europe, including for Hamiplant’s own brand Vida Verde. “We expect that the current, positive developments in this segment will continue for a while.”
Another reason for the stronger price fluctuations is that direct sales are showing a stronger increase than same day orders through the auction. In addition, there’s the effect of smaller, but more frequent orders. “That puts pressure on the logistic costs and as a wholesaler, we’re finding solutions for this issue, with the help of ICT. But that’s not the case yet throughout the entire chain”, admits Lamboo.