Antalya Leads Turkish Cut Flower Industry in Year-End Export Surge

by Anna

Antalya, the prominent Turkish city, stands as the primary hub for the nation’s cut flower industry, with the majority of Turkish flower exporters headquartered in this bustling locale. This year, the cut flower sector has set sail with a significant shipment of 75 million stems, predominantly carnations, and an additional 4 million Christmas wreaths to nearly 30 European countries and Russia, in anticipation of the forthcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Ismail Yilmaz, President of the Central Anatolian Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters’ Association (OAIB), shared insights into the burgeoning export activities, stating, “We have initiated exports to nearly 30 European countries and Russia, projecting an export volume of 75 million carnation stems, translating to an estimated revenue of 8-10 million USD for this New Year’s period. Furthermore, with approximately 4 million wreaths crafted from our products, utilized as door or table embellishments, we anticipate an additional income of 8-10 million USD.”

Highlighting the significance of Turkish flowers in European countries and Russia during the festive season, celebrated as ‘Christmas’ or ‘Noel’, Yilmaz emphasized that the exported flowers, including carnations, gerbera, ranunculus, and greenery, find their way into flower bouquets prominently displayed at supermarkets and florists across Europe. The Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Germany continue to be the primary export destinations for Turkish flowers, with shipments transported in refrigerated trucks, taking an average of 3 to 4 days to reach their final destinations.

While carnations have long been the flagship export variety for Turkish growers, Yilmaz notes that wreaths have emerged as a noteworthy product over the past decade, gaining prominence and witnessing increased production volumes in recent years.

As of October 2023, Yilmaz reported an export figure of approximately 121 million dollars for the year, underscoring the industry’s resilience and growth. With the summer production season concluding in Isparta, Yilmaz announced the commencement of the production season on the Antalya coast.

In comparison, Turkey had achieved an impressive export value of 137 million USD in flowers in 2022. With the current upswing in Christmas activity, the industry remains optimistic about concluding 2023 with a similar robust total export revenue.

Yilmaz emphasized the paramount importance of Christmas in the Christian calendar, asserting that millions of flower stems are dispatched annually from Antalya to European countries during this festive period. He noted that, after Valentine’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Eve represent the peak periods for the ornamental plants and cut flower industry.

Detailing the preferences during this festive season, Yilmaz revealed that carnations, particularly in the vibrant red hue, are the favored choice. “The red color of carnations is highly sought after, especially during the New Year’s period. Additionally, white, purple, purple-white double colors, and burgundy are our most requested hues, serving as crucial elements in decorations. Given the significance of these days in the Christian world, these flowers play a dual role as both festive adornments and cherished gifts exchanged between individuals,” concluded Yilmaz.

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