Valentine roses scarce, pushing up prices for growers

AALSMEER, Netherlands: A 22 per cent smaller Kenyan rose crop due to adverse weather conditions meant that already-strong rose markets got even stronger in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, says Guido Vollebregt, rose product manager for Royal FloraHolland. In the days before one of the world’s major floral holidays, the Dutch cooperative traded 152 million roses, nine per cent down on last year.

With supplies being tight, it’s a no-brainer that individual stems were more expensive. On February 13, auctions reps reported an overall median price that was ten per cent higher than last year.

Roses from Kenya yielded a 20 per cent higher price compared to last year while their Ethiopian counterparts saw their average price go up 11 per cent.

Volumes of rose shipping from Ethiopia were running about five per cent higher than usual in late January. Mild weather with above-average temperatures caused the Ethopian rose crop to be plentiful and profitable.

Dutch growers also did better business with a three per cent higher average price.

The roses traded at Royal FloraHolland originate from three mayor production areas: Kenya, the Netherlands and Ethiopia with each accounting for 40 per cent, 39 per cent and 21 per cent of the total rose supplies respectively.

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