Dutch exporters of flowers and plants are ahead of last year and realized an export value of €2.8 billion till the end of May 2016. The export value increased 7% in May compared to 2015 and that brings the total growth to 3% so far. Both the cut flowers and potted and garden plants show positive figures, as the VGB (Dutch Association of Wholesale Trade in Horticultural Products) announced. The results vary by country and the fluctuations are large in some market segments. Exporting wholesale companies maintain moderate optimism for the entire worldwide industry. Just like in April, the export value of potted and garden plants increased in May, this time by 12% to €263 million. The cut flower export increased 5% in May, up to €387 million, to reach a total of just over €1.7 billion (+ 1.5% after the first 5 months compared to last year). Monthly record With a total turnover of €650 million in May the export companies in Holland have set a record. The last record was set in 2012 with a turnover of €637 million. In seven of the top-10 export destinations worldwide an increase is realized. Only England is stable and in two countries the turnover was less than previous year. The Austrian market shrank 3% in the last months and the structural decline of more than 30% to Russia continued. Shrinking markets After the decline of export value to Austria with 13% last year, the 10th export destination for Dutch exporters seemed to recover this year. However, in May there was a decline, especially in plants, what results in arrears of 3% until May. That brings the total export value to Austria to €64 million. Nevertheless Austria has outstripped Russia in the top-10 and is now in 9th place. For the time being there is no stabilization expected to restore the Russian market. Russia was the 6th destination for Dutch flower export companies until May 2015. At this moment the country has dropped to the tenth place, while it used to be a flower and plant superpower. Due to the poor economic situation and the lower exchange rate of the Russian Ruble, the outlook is poor and a further market share shrinkage is expected. Above-average growth There also some countries where Dutch flower exporters achieved an above-average growth. Belgium (+11%) is at the top, followed by Poland (+10%), Italy, Germany and Sweden (+5%). In spite of the expectations of experts also the export to Germany increased to €855 million. England and France unstable In all segments in France, wholesale, retail and garden centers reported difficult flower and plant sales, although there was a small increase of 2% until May. The flower and plant export turnover to England fluctuated very strong each month: an increase of 21% in February to a shrink of 10% in April. After a plus of 6% in May, the export turnover is comparable to last year. Source: www.vgb.nl.