Aided by higher realisation, India’s floriculture exports — including both fresh cut and dry flowers — increased 2.5 per cent in value terms at about $78 million during financial year 2020-21 compared with previous year’s $76 million.

The growth in value is despite a six per cent decline in volume and the supply chain disruption triggered by the Covid lockdowns during the year.

Export volumes were lower by 6.6 per cent at 15,842 tonnes compared with 16,949 tonnes in the previous financial year, according to the Agricultural and Processed Foods Exports Development Authority (Apeda). A break-up of volumes for fresh cut flowers and dry flowers were not available.

UK’s restrictions

Sources said the growers and exporters of fresh cut flowers mainly roses, which are perishable in nature, faced the brunt of the pandemic as many countries imposed lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. Unlike fruit and vegetables, flowers are not considered an essential item and as a result, the demand took a hit, sources said adding that higher freight costs made the shipments unviable.

In rupee terms, floriculture exports were up by 6.35 per cent at ₹576 crore (₹542 crore). The per unit realisation for floriculture products were higher by close to a tenth at $4,914 per tonne compared with $4,478 per tonne the previous year.

V-Day cheer withers

“UK, the largest market for Indian roses, was under lockdown during the Valentines Day, the main season for rose exports. The fresh cut rose exports were down by about 48 per cent during the April-February 2021 period at ₹23.79 crore compared with ₹46.09 crore in the same period last year,” said Praveen Sharma, President, Indian Society of Floriculture Professionals in Pune. During February 2021, the rose exports stood at ₹15.30 crore compared with ₹20.16 crore in February 2020.

US, the topper

The US remained the largest market for Indian floriculture exports, followed by the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The US accounted for about 27 per cent of Indian floriculture exports valued at $21.51 million, while the Netherlands accounted for around 19 per cent at $14.74 million.

Shipments to the UAE — the third-largest buyer — stood marginally up at $4.66 million. Exports to the UK were down by 22 per cent at $4.51 million and Germany were lower by 25 per cent at $4.32 million.


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