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Auction turnover and export value of Dutch flowers and plants show resilience despite declines in 2023

22/03/2024

Despite fluctuating results during the summer months, the cumulative export value of flowers and plants in 2023 was only 4% lower than the previous year, amounting to €6.8 billion, a decrease from €7.1 billion in 2022. The decline continued into January 2024 with a decrease of 1.4% compared to January 2023. In December 2023, the export value was nearly 5% lower than a year earlier, for both cut flowers and potted plants. Throughout 2023, the export value for cut flowers performed relatively worse than that of plants, with a decrease of 4.6% for cut flowers and 3.2% for plants compared to the previous year.

In 2024, the roles reversed: cut flowers in January showed a slightly less severe drop in export value than plants, with €320 million for flowers and €184 million for plants, a decrease of 3.3 and nearly 5% respectively compared to January 2023. Additional phytosanitary inspections in the United Kingdom and uncertainties in sourcing flowers from Ecuador and Israel pose extra challenges.

The auction turnover of cut flowers through Royal Floraholland fell to €1.9 billion in 2023, a decrease of nearly 6%. High energy prices led to a decrease in production earlier in the year, but an increase in the number sold was visible in the last months of 2023. December 2023 recorded 7% more units sold but also a 9% lower price than in December 2022.

The turnover of potted plants in 2023 was slightly higher than in 2022, totaling €1.7 billion. Despite a 3.5% decrease in the number sold, a 4% price increase led to slight revenue growth. Phalaenopsis played a significant role in this through a strong price increase due to lower numbers.

The turnover of domestically grown garden plants saw a positive trend in 2023 with a 6% increase to €463 million compared to 2022. This was despite a 2% decrease in the number sold, where an 8% increase in the average price more than compensated for this decline. The garden plant season started off weak due to poor weather, but a strong May compensated significantly. The turnover in January 2024 began weakly for garden plants with a 3% decrease compared to January 2023, with the lower number sold being the main cause.

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