Market News

Flower exporters sniff rich pickings on Valentine’s Day

Flower traders do a roaring business on Valentines. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Flower traders do a roaring business on Valentines. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Local flower producers are forecasting good earnings from Wednesday Valentine’s Day sales on account of stable euro compared with 2017.

The euro, which is the main currency used in payment for flowers, has appreciated from 110 in February last year to current 123. Most of the Kenyan flowers are sold in the European market where the euro is the medium of payment.

Kenya Horticultural Council chief executive officer Jane Ngigi said apart from the stronger currency, the industry has registered good crop compared with last year. However, the council is still working on the statistics.

“We are looking at a good year in this Valentine’s day because the euro is stronger and the volumes are there to match the orders,” said Ms Ngigi, a former CEO of the Kenya Flower Council.

“I cannot give the figures now but it is evident that the volumes are higher compared with what we harvested last year as we have not had severe drought this season,” she said.

Ms Ngigi said growers are projected to earn 30 per cent of the Sh70 billion realised in 2017 from the flowers on Valentine’s Day alone.

Demand for flowers rises around the Valentine season, both in the export and domestic markets. Producers expect that Kenyans will buy more flowers this year due to the fact that Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday.

Local sales, she said, will account for five per cent of the total earnings expected to be made on February 14. Flower firms were hard hit in 2016 Valentine’s Day when the earnings fell as much as 30 per cent on account of a weak euro and high costs.