Caught between an opportunity and a crisis

WESTLAND, Netherlands: A dramatic market decline between the last week in March and the end of April this year, in which the coronavirus pandemic was at its worst in Europe, was followed by a relatively speedy recovery with demand and price setting for Dutch grown potted orchids doing better than expected, especially for potted Phalaenopsis.

Usually, the price of potted orchids drops right after the last week in May when French Mother’s Day has happened, but this year, interest kept going. And market reports from the Dutch orchid industry predicted a prolonged market after week 23.

This week, however, demand for potted Phalaenopsis has begun to fall back slightly with day trading declining. The most significant cause appears to be the hot weather in Eastern Europe. Now, the Dutch orchid business is bracing itself for the sales stagnation to happen in its three life line markets: Germany, the UK and France as the summer heat rises in all three countries.

For Dutch horticultural companies to be eligible for financial compensation, they must be able to demonstrate that they have suffered more than 30 per cent loss of turnover and gross profit in the period 12 March to 11 June.

With the rules so firmly in place, juxtaposed with the recent positive developments in potted orchid sales, it seems many Dutch orchid companies will be ineligible for aid. This dilemma is  because the price has recovered well in recent weeks and turnover will remain below that of a 30 per cent loss.

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