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Dutch Flower Exports Gained 3.6% in July on Demand From Germany

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Aug. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Netherlands’ flower and plant exports, the world’s biggest, rose 3.6 percent in July on demand from Germany and Russia, while sales to southern Europe continued to fall.

Exports climbed to 340.9 million euros ($419.5 million) from 329.1 million euros in July 2011, the Aalsmeer, Netherlands-based Dutch Agricultural Wholesale Board for Flowers and Plants wrote in a report on its website today.

The board has said flower sales to southern European countries including Spain, Italy and Greece are sliding on the back of falling consumer confidence there. The Italian economy contracted for a fourth straight quarter in the three months through June and Spain’s gross domestic product dropped from the first quarter, European Union figures showed this week.

“Eastern Europe remains the strongest area of growth and southern European markets are under pressure,” the board wrote. “With a warm August month in all of Europe, the prospects for this month are less positive.”

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the biggest market for flowers from the Netherlands. Flower and plant exports to the country rose 6.3 percent in July to 109.1 million euros. Shipments to the U.K., the second-biggest customer for Dutch flora, increased 1.3 percent to 62.2 million euros. Shipments to Russia jumped 17 percent to 12.1 million euros.

Dutch flower and plant exports in the first seven months of the year rose 5.8 percent to 3.44 billion euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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