China’s flower power continues to grow

China’s country-wide floriculture trade annually is an over US$8 billion business and good news for air cargo carriers, the central government is aiming to turn its focus from the domestic to international market. Brian Thomson reports fromChengdu, China. Yunnan Province is one of the major areas for flower farming in China with the area under […]


flower farming horticultural production Kunming airport Yunnan Logistics Yunnan Province


China’s country-wide floriculture trade annually is an over US$8 billion business and good news for air cargo carriers, the central government is aiming to turn its focus from the domestic to international market. Brian Thomson reports fromChengdu, China.

Yunnan Province is one of the major areas for flower farming in China with the area under cultivation for cut flowers increasing in just one year by 15 per cent, showing the eagerness of the industry to expand.

Currently, some 80 per cent of local production goes to inland cities and 15 per cent is exported, mainly to Southeast Asia. In the opposite direction flowers are flown up to Urumuji in the far northwest of China for transshipment by road, or air, into Russia and neighbouring countries.

In Chinese flower markets, the affluent middle class are loading up their BMWs and Lexus’ with exotic plants, railed or flown from Kunming, capital city of Yunnan. Chengdu in neighbouring Sichuan alone, receives two to three tonnes of airfreighted plants daily. On Mother’s Day, Valentines Day and at the Spring Festival the tonnage shoots up even higher.

The Australian Lynch Group, a major importer of flowers is a steady customer of Yunnan’s horticultural production. “We distribute to 1,200 supermarkets and despite the economic climate we could easily take a quarter of a million stems (10 metric tonnes) each week at our reception centers in Brisbane, Sydney,Melbourne and Perth,” said the Lynch Group’s Kunming based manager, GregRyan. “We have, in the past, sent flowersto all of these cities either via Hong Kongor Bangkok”.