April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch flower and plant exports rose 7.2 percent in the first quarter, the most in a decade, on favorable weather and stabilizing consumer confidence in Germany, the biggest market for shipments.
Exports climbed to 1.56 billion euros ($2 billion) from 1.45 billion euros a year earlier as a surge in March more than made up for a decline in February, the Aalsmeer, Netherlands-based Dutch Agricultural Wholesale Board for Flowers and Plants wrote in a report on its website today.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the main market for flowers from the Netherlands. GfK AG’s German consumer-sentiment index rose to a 12-month high of 6 points in March from 5.9 in February, lifted by falling unemployment.
“In Germany, confidence in the economy seems to be more stable, and in combination with favorable weather from the second half of February, this stimulated sales,” the board wrote. “Following a mediocre Valentine’s, International Women’s Day on March 8 and England’s Mother’s Day on March 18 were a big boost for sales.”
The first-quarter jump in flower and plant exports was the biggest since 2002, when sales rose a record 11 percent, according to the board. Shipments to Germany rose to 488.7 million euros from 459.5 million euros and those to the U.K., the second-biggest destination, climbed to 237.3 million euros from 195.8 million euros.
The Netherlands’ flower and plant exports surged 18 percent in March to 642.5 million euros.
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