The storage area of the Mariscal Sucre airport was extended 1,000 meters to cover the demand of the exporters. The sector aims to sell 18,000 tons this season. The best time of the year for the Ecuadorian flower industry is this.
The exporters expect that in this Valentine’s Day their sales will grow between 3% and 6% with respect to 2018. Alejandro Martínez, president of Expoflores, said that his expectation for this season, which goes from January 18 to February 7, is to sell 1,100 tons more than last year.
In 2018, the export of flowers fell by 3%, according to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment. The reasons were delays in cargo flights and excess supply of the product. In 2017, $ 881.5 million were collected, while in 2018, $ 861.2 million.
Valentine represents 30% of the annual sales made by the sector. This great movement is palpable in the cargo terminal of the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito during these days.
Luis Galárraga, communications manager of Quiport, explained that during this time an average of 300 flights travel from the capital with shipments of flowers. The countries that acquire the most roses for the Day of Love and Friendship are the United States, Russia, Spain, Luxembourg, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
To cover the demand, the airport increased the palletization area by 1,000 meters and the number of cold rooms for the storage of the flowers. These works are part of an expansion project of the international cargo terminal that will culminate in the second half of 2019, anticipating the high season of 2020.
This investment comes from the palletizing companies Aonem, Peretrally, Nova Cargo and Servipallet, in agreement strategic with Quiport. According to Galárraga, in Valentine’s Day of 2018 some 17,300 metric tons of flowers, mainly roses, were exported.
Growth is expected for this year. “We seek to exceed 18,000 tons,” announced optimist. With this figure coincided the representative of Expoflores. Alejandro Martínez acknowledged that the previous year they faced several problems.
In addition to those mentioned above, he indicated that the growth of electronic commerce also affected the sector. “(Electronic sales) demand a lot of air freight, pay more per kilo and that’s better for airlines.
However, it affects us (the exporters) because there is not enough space on the planes to satisfy our demand, “said Martínez.
Colombia and Ecuador cover the US market
The main buyer of Ecuadorian flowers is the United States. Ecuador competes directly with Colombia. According to figures from Expoflores, Colombian roses account for 70% of the US market and the rest is covered by the Ecuadorian product. “Colombia continues to grow aggressively. While Ecuador cannot grow much because it has a very high cost structure, “said the director of Expoflores.
He pointed out that the country must improve the conditions of access to markets, competitiveness and generate sources of investment and employment. For this reason, he stressed that for the sector it would be a huge benefit to sign a trade agreement with the United States.
Ecuador occupies the third place in the world as an exporter of cut flowers. 73% of their crops are pink. The main markets include the United States, Russia, Italy, Canada, Ukraine and China. 6 percent growth in the export of flowers provided for the sector for the 2019 season of Valentine’s Day.
The neighboring country will export some 35,500 tons of flowers to the United States to cover the Valentine’s demand. (I)