Japan Data

Imported Blooms Fill the Gap as Domestic Cut Flower Shipments Tumble


Shipments of domestic cut flowers have been falling since 2000 and hit a new low in 2017. To compensate, imports have been increasing. This is particularly the case with Colombian carnations and imported carnations now outweigh domestic shipments.

Since 2000, the volume of domestic cut flowers has been in a downward trend. In 2017, 3.7 billion flowers were shipped, the lowest amount since statistics were first collected in 1990. The main causes are thought to be the aging of growers, typhoon damage, and a steep rise in fuel prices leading to decreased use of greenhouses for cultivation.

The number of chrysanthemums, the most commonly grown flowers, decreased by 1% from the previous year to 1.5 billion and the amount of land used to produce the flowers also fell by 1% to 4,758 hectares, driving down the overall figures. Decline in the production of single blooming flowers, used mainly for displaying in the Buddhist altar in the home, was noticeable. Other staple flowers saw decreases as well, including a 3% reduction in roses to 248 million and a 4% fall in carnations to 240 million. By prefecture, the largest fall in shipments was in Chiba with a 14% decline to 162 million flowers. Production has been affected by floods and salt damage caused by typhoons.

Imports of cut flowers have been increasing to compensate for these reduced domestic shipments. Plant quarantine statistics published by MAFF show that in 2017 imports of cut flowers increased by 2% to 1.34 billion. With imported cut flowers accounting for 26% of the market, this is close to the peak in 2012 of 1.39 billion flowers. Colombian carnations and Malaysian chrysanthemums have seen a noticeable rise. As these countries have warmer climates than Japan, they benefit by being able to achieve steady production throughout the year. Imported carnations now outweigh domestic production, accounting for 60% of the market.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Pixta.)