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Resilience of the Dutch flower and plant sector evident from growth in first quarter 2024

01/05/2024

After a challenging year in 2023, the start of 2024 shows signs of resilience. In the first quarter of 2024, the auction revenue from domestically grown cut flowers through Royal Floraholland increased by nearly 6%, while the export of flowers and plants increased by 4% compared to the first quarter of 2023. The auction revenue from houseplants also saw a slight increase, with the revenue in the first quarter of 2024 just surpassing that of 2023.

Flower and plant exports
The total export value of flowers and plants reached over 2 billion euros at the beginning of 2024, a growth of approximately 80 million euros compared to 2023. Although the export of both product groups started poorly at the beginning of the year, the cumulative export value of flowers exceeded that of the previous year by February, with plants following in March. Additional challenges such as new phytosanitary inspections in the United Kingdom and uncertainties in sourcing flowers from Kenya and other African countries continued to affect the market. Nonetheless, demand was strong, stimulated by holidays such as Valentine's Day, International Women's Day, English Mother's Day, and Easter, particularly in March when all Easter purchases were made.

Cut Flower Auctions
In the first quarter of 2024, the auction turnover of Dutch cut flowers rose by nearly 6%, to nearly 600 million euros, an improvement over the same period in 2023. This increase was mainly due to an increase in sold quantities and better price formation, supported by lower energy prices and adjustments to new cultivation conditions. Holidays also boosted demand and revenue in March, despite a decline in the total number of flowers sold. Tulips remained the main revenue generator, despite a reduced supply, thanks to a significant price increase.

Houseplant Auctions
In the first quarter of 2024, the auction turnover of houseplants from Dutch soil via Royal Floraholland was slightly higher than in the same period in 2023, with an increase of 1.1% to 517 million euros. Although the number of products sold decreased by half a percent, a slight increase in the average price of 1.6% led to this revenue growth. Seasonal effects such as an early Easter and Valentine's Day, where specifically red plants such as pot roses and kalanchoe were popular, positively contributed to sales, despite challenges from the aftermath of the energy crisis.

Garden Plant Auctions
In the first quarter of 2024, the revenue from garden plants of Dutch growers on Royal Floraholland increased by nearly 8%, despite the average price decreasing by 4% due to a 12% increase in the number sold. This growth was facilitated by an early Easter and lower energy prices, resulting in earlier and stronger supply, particularly in February, where revenue increased by nearly 20%. Key revenue drivers were violets, primulas, and bellis, while camellias and primulas underperformed.

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