AUCKLAND, NZ: Pete Rensen from Utopia Orchids, based south of Auckland, New Zealand and a specialist grower of white miniature orchids and Italian Ruscus provides a thorough review of the 2016 Cymbidium season.
For most Cymbidium growers the flowering season is coming to an end, time for spacing plants, crop maintenance and possibly fit in some leisure activities away from the property.
This season had brought some improvement for the prices for Cymbidiums to our overseas markets because of our dollar but also due to a slight reduction in volume grown. Local market prices saw some improvement, especially for better quality product.
The reduction in volume was due to a few more growers exiting our industry and the fact that we did have an unusual summer with lots of warm nights. Cymbidium plants need a surplus of sugars brought on by colder nights to initiate flower spikes and over a long period during the summer months this was not happening. The result was a start with good volumes but a drop in the number of boxes from August onwards.
Rensen is in two minds weather the decrease in volume is the cause of the price increase (consequent perceived shortage of crop) or was it the extra effort by NZ exporters for higher prices from their customers resulting in this price increase.
The exchange rate with Japan has certainly helped as that was in the NZ Cymbidium industry’s favour by an average of 10%. Exchange rate with the US has moved against the NZ growers this year. However Rensen does expect the USD to become stronger from now on as Mr Trump will no doubt implement some protective measures that will benefit the US (perhaps not the rest of the world)
It must also be said the quality of Cymbidium flowers as a whole this season was better than it has been, this is due to better grading, better growing and a realization among growers they can’t build a good market with poor quality. Prices achieved for poor quality product over the last few years has made it not worth while growing combined with some stick growers have received from their peers regarding supply of poor quality and have improved their procedures and grading.
Overall the NZ Cymbidium season was better than the last few and growers are happy perhaps not because it was a great year but because they have not lost as much money as they did the last few seasons or hopefully made a little this year.