Friday, February 16, 2007

Delhites Hearts bleed with soaring rose prices on Valentine's Day

New Delhi, Feb. 14 (PTI): The price of expressing love got higher this year, as rates of roses went through the roof this Valentine's Day with a single stem costing more than Rs 20 in the national capital.

Delhi, which is India's largest flower market in terms of consumption, received a record supply of about 20-lakh cut roses during this Valentine's Day. "The number of cut roses, which gathered momentum from February 9 for the Valentine's Day, increased to as high as 20 lakh," Delhi-based flower wholesaler said. Prices also went up to Rs 400 per bunch of 20 roses of best quality in Delhi, which has an estimated Rs 50 crore annual business in floriculture, a trader said. However, only a few good-quality long-stemmed cut roses received that amount, and the average wholesale price was in the range of Rs 7.50-10 per cut flower.

Apart from Bangalore and Pune which are the regular suppliers to Delhi market, Hyderabad also sent roses to the capital city this year.

Not only roses, even rates of other flowers also went up this Valentine's season, traders said. Carnation and lilies from Himachal Pradesh are also said to have commanded good price. Red carnation was sold at Rs 150 a bunch comprising 20 cut flowers while Oriental lilies went up as high as Rs 60 per piece and Asiatic lilies received Rs 25-30 per stem. Flowers were also received well in the international market as Indian cut roses quoted up to Rs 15 for the 80cm-long stem variety. However, Indian exporters who received Japan's largest order to any country, an exporter said.

"Demand for roses in Japan does not increase during the Valentine's Day as Japanese prefer to gift chocolates," he said. Even as Indian exporters look forward to overseas market in this season, some countries like Thailand are eyeing the Indian market for a share. Imported Heliconias from Bangkok were sold in the range of Rs 125-175 per piece in Delhi.

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