Figures published by the Dutch Association of Wholesalers in Floricultural Products (VGB) and market analyst Floridata reveal that the export of Dutch flowers and plants contracted by 16 per cent in April, but it is looking positive for May.
One explanation for the contraction is the cold spring weather, and Mother’s Day is celebrated a week later than last year in many countries. The UK’s Mothering Sunday fell early this year, on 19 March. Sales were somewhat disappointing, with houseplants in particular not performing so well. On Sunday, 7 May, Spain, Portugal, Romania, and Hungary celebrated Mother’s Day. And Polish Mother’s Day will be celebrated on Friday, 26 May, followed by Swedish Mother’s Day on Sunday, 28 May and French Mother’s Day on Sunday, 4 June. However, most countries, including the USA, celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.
Floral wholesalers, however, look back with satisfaction at the export demand of flowers and plants in the run-up to Mother’s Day. Echoing this fact, Matthijs Mesken, VGB director, who represents almost 80 per cent of the total annual turnover in this industry, says, “Sales for May promise to be higher than last year. This boost is something traders can use, as the export value for flowers and plants, though April is seven per cent behind last year.”
“We are happy to report a 15 per cent increase in sales in distant markets,” notes Holex Flower BV director Paul Hoogenboom. “Despite the cold spring, fortunately, there were hardly any shortages in the flower supply. Because of more capacity to many destinations, air freight costs are falling, resulting in a favourable scenario for sales.”
“Mother’s Day sales are good, but we notice that the position of the Dutch hub is coming under further pressure,” continues Mesken.
Hoogenboom adds that there is less availability of Dutch-grown energy-intensive ornamentals. “As a result, our customers are more likely to choose tulips and Ranunculus and less often the expensive Lisianthus.”
There is also more direct sourcing from growers to customer destinations. He continues, “In our Miami branch, we notice that the volume from Ecuador and Africa continues to increase compared to the Dutch volume.”
“All in all, traders are positive about their sales in the run-up to Mother’s Day,” Mesken concludes.