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Dutch Flower Exports Jump 13% in October on Russia, Working Days

The Netherlands’ flower and plant exports, the world’s biggest, jumped 13 percent in October as the month had two more business days than a year earlier and as shipments of greenery to Russia increased.

Shipments climbed to 435.1 million euros ($555.8 million) from 384.9 million euros in October 2011, the Aalsmeer, Netherlands-based Dutch Agricultural Wholesale Board for Flowers and Plants wrote in an online report dated Nov. 16.

Flower sales to Russia are helping compensate for falling exports to southern European countries including Italy and Spain as Europe’s debt crisis hurts consumer confidence.

“That the economic crisis is hitting hardest in southern Europe can also be felt in flower and plant exports from the Netherlands,” the board wrote. “Due to religious holidays at the start of November the value decline of flowers to Italy in October was limited to 1 percent.”

Exports to Russia, the biggest client for Dutch flowers and plants outside the EU, jumped 39 percent to 21.1 million euros, the board’s data showed. Shipments rose 34 percent in the first 10 months of the year to 221.2 million euros.

Flower and plant sales to Italy, the fourth-biggest market for Dutch greenery, rose 12 percent to 40.6 million euros on increased demand for potted plants. Exports in the 10-month period fell 3.7 percent to 255.6 million euros.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is the biggest market for flowers from the Netherlands. Dutch flower and plant exports to the country rose 13 percent last month to 114.3 million euros, and climbed 5.9 percent in the January-October period to 1.44 billion euros.

“The sales to Germany are mainly contributed to the higher purchasing price,” the board wrote. “In units there is hardly an increase, according to exporters.”

Monthly exports to Spain fell 16 percent to 10.2 million euros after an increase on the value-added tax on flowers, according to the product board.

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