Projections on the export performance of Ecuador’s floricultural sector improved for 2022.
The National Association of Producers and Exporters of Flowers of Ecuador (Expoflores) forecasts that flower exports will grow 8% in 2022, reaching USD 1,000 million.
This new perspective contrasts with the contraction that the flower sector projected until mid-2022, as a result of the June demonstrations and the loss of the market in the Eurasian zone, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
However, the rise in energy prices in Europe, which will lead flower growers to turn off their greenhouses during the winter, improved the scenario for Ecuadorian flower growers.
This is explained by Alejandro Martínez, president of Expoflores, who adds that a lower production in Europe will lead to a rise in flower prices in the world. This means more income for Ecuador.
Shortages and escalating energy prices in Europe could force companies to periodically stop operations during the winter of 2022.
The energy crisis in that continent has its origin in a lower supply of natural gas from Russia, in response to the sanctions that the United States and Europe imposed for the invasion of Ukraine.
Around 40% of the gas that Europe imports comes from Russia.
One of the sectors threatened by the energy crisis is the flower industry in the Netherlands , which needs energy to heat the greenhouses.
The Netherlands is the largest producer and exporter of cut flowers in the world.
Ecuador’s flower exports are also growing because world demand has recovered , which had fallen due to the pandemic. In addition, the national offer is in the process of diversification, in order to reach new markets.
“The United States and China are placing orders,” says Nicole Andino, a salesperson for Ceres Farms, located in Tabacundo.
Regarding the new varieties, the firm Rosaprima has ventured into the cultivation of buttercups , explains Miguel Freire, International Sales Manager of the company, whose greenhouses are in the Cayambe canton, located in the province of Pichincha.
The buttercup, a spring flower, grows mainly in Europe and Asia.
“The buttercup season in Europe is from November to April. On the other hand, in Ecuador they can be cultivated all year round and their production is greater,” says Freire.
Ecuador’s flower exports could be higher in 2022, but there are factors that prevent it.
One of them is the low number of frequencies of cargo flights that the country has, says Guillermo Bustamante, president of the Expoflores Board of Directors.
Freire agrees with that, who says that “we are working directly with the airlines to increase the number of frequencies.”
For this reason, since September 2022, the Choice Cargo company, commercial representative of the US airline Kalitta, began operating two cargo charter flights between Quito and Miami.
“The new operation will serve to increase the capacity for the export of flowers and other products,” said Corporación Quiport, in charge of the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in the city of Quito.
With the economic recovery, the country’s flower sector has set out to attract demand and reach more markets. For this reason, between October 5 and 7, the Expo Flor Ecuador 2022 fair was held in Quito.
More than 100 producers participated in it, who presented their offer to 2,000 buyers from around the world.