The Netherlands exported 3.6 billion bulbs last year, 2 percent more than in 2009, but the value of bulb exports was reduced by 6 percent to 313 million euro.
One fifth of bulbs imported by the US
Most bulbs are exported to the United States of America (US). With the exception of 2004, the US have been the largest importer of bulbs since 1998. Nearly 800 million bulbs were exported to the US last year, a reduction by 10 percent relative to 2009. Despite the reduction, the US remains the largest importer with a share of more than 20 percent. Approximately 60 percent of bulbs are imported by countries across Europe.
Bulb exports by most important countries
Tulip bulbs most popular
More than half of exported bulbs are tulip bulbs, followed by gladioli, narcissi and hyacinths. Tulips also account for more than 50 percent of the total bulb-growing area in the Netherlands. The area covered 23.2 thousand hectares (ha) in 2010, a reduction by 300 ha relative to the previous year.
Exports bulbs by species
Scale-up from 3 to 14 ha
The number of bulb growers was reduced by 7 percent to 1.7 thousand in 2010 compared to 2009. Over the past three decades, the number of bulb growers has been in decline continually, but the bulb-growing area has expanded considerably. This development resulted in fewer, but larger holdings. In 2010, the average holding covered nearly 14 ha versus just under 3 ha in 1980.
Wiel Packbier and Cor Pierik