Flower trade in the United States is undergoing a transformation as consumers now prefer ornamental plants. Flower imports are decreasing continuously and flower shops are closing in the U.S., giving way to the more dynamic market of ornamental plants. This is according to the latest figures of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (over 2014).
While the imports of cut flowers have dropped from 850 to 670 million dollars (-11%) in the last five years, the imports of ornamental plants have increased from 630 to more than 1,050 million US$ in the same period.
Colombia, as main supplier in this field, has been reducing its exposure to fresh flowers from a sum of 550 million in 2010 to a little more than US$ 490 million last year.
In contrast has been experiencing a significant rise in the sale of ornamental plants, which gave a jump from 13 million to US$170 million, in the same period of time.
Ecuador remains as the second largest supplier of cut flowers to the U.S., with exports worth 135 million dollars last year, a figure that has remained stable in recent years.
Holland had a turnover of 5 million dollars last year, in comparison to the turnover of 50 million dollars in 2010 (with some comeback in 2015; all related to currency fluctuations).
Other suppliers, such as Mexico, Guatemala, and Taiwan could barely reach a little more than 30 million dollars among all of them.
With regard to the supply of ornamental potted plants —such as orchids and tulips— to the U.S. market, Canada is increasingly stronger with exports worth over US$ 320 million in 2014, followed by Holland with around US$190 million, Colombia, and finally Taiwan, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and China.
The greatest impact of the decrease in flower imports can be seen at the retail sector, as flower shops are increasingly closing. According to statistics of the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of flower shops has decreased from 20,000 in 2006, to fewer than 14,000 in 2013, with the respective job losses.
According to the same source, more than 35,000 jobs were lost within this sector at a national scale during the last eight years. Currently, there are 60,000 active job posts. Moreover, the United States (US). Labor Department expects that the opportunities in this sector will continue declining in the years to come.
Source: Portafolio.co – See more at: http://www.intracen.org/blog/Cut-Flower-imports-into-the-United-States-diminished/#sthash.zvedL30g.dpuf