The Netherlands’ flower and plant exports, the world’s biggest, rose 6 percent in the first half as increased shipments to Germany and the U.K. more than made up for falling sales to France, Italy and Spain.
Exports climbed to 3.1 billion euros ($3.79 billion) from 2.92 billion euros in the first half of 2011, the Aalsmeer, Netherlands-based Dutch Agricultural Wholesale Board for Flowers and Plants wrote in a report on its website today.
Flower sales to southern Europe are sliding on the back of falling consumer confidence there, with shoppers cutting the budget for blooms at weddings, funerals and birthdays, the board said. Consumers in Germany, the U.K. and the Nordic countries all bought more greenery and flowers.
“Flowers and plants are products with a large emotional value and that could also be an advantage in this time of economic headwind,” the board wrote. In southern Europe, “there is no sign of improving confidence for the time being,” it said.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the biggest market for flowers from the Netherlands. Flower and plant exports to the country rose 7.1 percent in the first half to 995 million euros. Shipments to the U.K., the second-biggest customer for Dutch flora, increased 12 percent to 437 million euros.
Flower and plant sales to France slipped 2.1 percent to 361 million euros in the first six months, while exports to Italy declined 6.3 percent to 148 million euros, according to the wholesale board’s data.
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