More than a million roses will be imported to Croatia by end of February, Croatia's chamber of commerce HGK said on Thursday, ahead of this year's Valentine's Day, which falls on Friday.
HGK said that in February 2019 the total value of imports of roses was €639,000, up from €376,000 in January that year, and a similar month-on-month spike in demand is expected this year.
The total volume of roses imported in February 2019 went up by 14 percent year-on-year, from 1.2 to 1.4 million individual flowers.
The total imports of roses over the first ten months of 2019 - as data for November and December are not yet available - was around €5 million, or 31 percent up from the same period in 2018, when it was €3.8 million.
Almost all imports came from the Netherlands, one of the world's major flower exporting countries, where roses worth €4.8 million had originated from, with significantly smaller volumes coming from Slovenia and Germany.
The total imports of cut flowers - including roses but also all other types of flowers such as violets, orchids, sunflowers, and many others - also went up year-on-year, from €8.1 million to €10.6 million.
However, as import continues to grow, domestically produced exports of flowers is dropping, HGK warned.
From January to October 2019 Croatia had exported roses worth a meagre €186,000, some 15 percent down from the same period in 2018, when it was at €220,000. The largest volumes of exported roses were shipped to neighbouring Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Croatia's total exports of all types of flowers was at unchanged levels, dropping slightly by 1 percent year-on-year, from €704,000 in the first ten months of 2018 to €696,000 in the same period in 2019.
Although the flower industry in the Netherlands dominates the global market, the European Union as a whole still imports ten times more roses than they export, Eurostat data shows. The majority of roses imported into the EU originate from Kenya, Ethiopia, Ecuador, and Colombia.
The majority of roses imported into the EU originate from Kenya, Ethiopia, Ecuador, and Colombia. Because in the words of a famous European, a rose by any other name - and presumably any other origin - smells just as sweet.