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Be Ready to Pay High Prices for Roses This Valentine's Day

Prity Barman
Prity Barman
Valentine Day
Valentine Day

You may have to pay 15 percent extra for roses this Valentine's Day, as the pandemic has affected flower productivity especially rose production, resulting in a major price surge in the domestic market. During Valentine's week, a bouquet of 20 flowers would cost Rs 700-800 on average, compared to Rs 600-700 a year earlier, said Tarun Joshi, chief executive of Interflora, the global flower distribution chain. 

Instead of roses and other tropical flowers, a decrease in flower exports due to the lockout turned farmers to vegetable farming. There will be upward pressure on prices, with an estimated 30 percent higher demand led by online purchases and low supply, he added. 

Lower foreign business demand, along with air freight doubling in recent months, has led to a decline of up to 40 percent in flower exports. This will, however, ensure that the best quality of roses, with large bud size, long stem length and numerous color shades, will be available on the domestic market at a marginal price rise, said Srikanth Bollapally, president of India's Grower's Flower Council. 

India exports 20 million stems of roses to Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asian nations, priced at around Rs 500 crore per year, he said. 

The week of Valentines from 7 to 14 February is the best chance for florists around the world, including India, of the year. The flower market in India is valued at around Rs 500 crore during Valentine's Day, with big supplies coming from Pune, Bengaluru, Hosur, Coorg and Ooty. The business rates will not influence sales as we also remember that customers are much more emotionally involved in relationships due to this Valentine's Day's social distancing and sending presents and flowers. 

It's no longer a day for couples, but also for siblings, families and friends, and we foresee higher orders for flowers, cakes and presents,' said Anil Sharma, Ferns and Petals' chief operating officer, which has more than 400 outlets in more than 125 cities across India. 

Since January 15, businesses have begun receiving advance orders and are seeing a substantial increase in demand from non-metro cities and state capitals due to the reverse migration of professionals, said Shrey Sehgal, co-founder of Flower Aura, an e-commerce firm that sells flowers and cakes in 200 cities. 

'If the wedding season had also coincided with Valentine's week, the price increase could have been significant,' Sehgal said. 

Ferns and Petals are also projecting strong demand from tier 2 cities and have opened 63 cake and flower shops in those locations in the last three months. Cities such as Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Kanpur, Raipur, Vadodara, Mysuru, Pune and Nagpur are now getting big demand, companies said. 

Shalin Singh Sahni of Floral Bay, which sells flowers on Amazon in addition to retail outlets in the National Capital Region including Delhi, said that traders in big mandis in Delhi and Bengaluru generally came up with prices closer to Valentine's Day. ' We sold roses last year in the range of Rs 50-100 per stem, depending on the quality, and this year it is expected to be Rs 75-125 per stem,' he said. 

Apart from networking with local florists, coordinated and e-commerce vendors join up with distribution and courier applications such as Wefast, Dunzo and Pickkup to ramp up their ability to deliver. 

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