Colombian flowers prepare for Valentine’s Day after registering a historic peak in exports

File photo. An employee organizes bouquets of flowers to be exported before Valentine’s Day in a farm near the municipality of Facatativa, in the department of Cundinamarca, Colombia, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

ProColombia announced, this Monday, January 31, that according to figures analyzed jointly with the National Administrative Department of Statistics (Dane), flower exports between January and November 2021 registered US$1,544 million, with an increase of close to 20%. The previous highest figure had been in 2019 when US$1.46 billion was reached.

According to the entity, the increase in value was more than US$250 million and also specified that in volume, the 266.5 million net kilos, which meant an increase of 17% compared to the same period of 2020.

“2021 was a historic year for the Colombian flower sector. Although production costs increased and biosecurity measures had to be implemented, the pandemic encouraged the purchase of flowers around the world because people stayed at home longer,” ProColombia explained.

The information also indicated that the main buyers were United States, Canada, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Russia and Poland. And in that sense, he also specified that the first 27 countries that buy the most flowers from Colombia had growth in this type of imports.

The report also highlighted that sales to the United States grew 16.1% registering US$1,208 million. For its part, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom had increases of 50, 59.1 and 28.8%, respectively.

“Across continents, America remains the leader, followed by Europe and every time there is a more interesting participation from Asia”, indicated the entity and also pointed out that towards these markets, “efforts from the public and private sectors have been focused so that there is a diversification of markets in flower exports”.

Regarding the departments that exported the most, Bogotá led with US$695 million, followed by Cundinamarca with US$560.3 million, Antioquia with US$285.2 million, Risaralda with US$1.2 million and Atlántico with US$836,000.

According to experts, the pandemic caused a change of pace in demand as it gave way to new consumption habits:

“The beginning of the pandemic had some challenges such as the shortage of cargo planes or containers, we have adjusted to this situation and this came across a increased international demand, as consumers spent more time at home and flowers sold at a high rate. We saw that there were countries like South Korea, Japan or Europe where the pandemic affected their production and there Colombia takes advantage of this opportunity. In our case, we had a positive performance in sales of carnations and mini carnations to Japan, South Korea, Europe and the US”, assured Ana María Vargas, commercial manager of Aposentos.

In addition, actions such as Asocolflores have been carried out, which focused on “overcoming multiple obstacles, especially in logistics and transportation issues.”

“The commitment of the flower growers and all the workers in the sector were key to preserve the nearly 140,000 jobs that this activity generates in our rural areas”, added Augusto Solano, president of Asocolflores.

The main flowers exported by Colombia are roses, carnations, pom-poms, alstroemerias, hydrangeas, chrysanthemums and lilies. Species that will surely occupy a special place in the minds of consumers during the next Valentine’s Day, which will be celebrated on February 14 and which represents about 15% of annual exports of the sector, according to estimates by Asocolflores.


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