KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — It is not certain how much flowers, especially roses, lilies and chrysanthemums, will cost between now and Chinese New Year because of the weak ringgit and lower local supply.
Florists are keeping their fingers crossed that prices will not go up too much, although they are still expected to make a killing with roses as they usually do on Valentine’s Day, which falls tomorrow.
HS Flower owner R. Kanahendran said it was normal for suppliers to increase the price of roses because of the demand during Valentine’s Day, but he predicted imported flowers could get expensive.
“High grade lilies will be costlier due to the (currency) conversion rate when we import. If the ringgit drops further, it will become more expensive,” he said.
He also predicted that as Chinese New Year draws closer, flowers like chrysanthemums would cost more because of Cameron Highlands’ lower output after the recent floods.
“Currently chrysanthemums cost RM12 a dozen but it may increase to RM15,” he said.
However, Cameron Highlands Flower Association president Lee Peng Fo claimed that besides roses, prices would not increase by much.
“The output of flowers from Cameron Highlands has decreased by about five to 10 per cent but prices remain the same,” he said.
Lee said although the price of a dozen uncut roses had increased to about RM20, Cameron Highlands only supplied about a quarter of the demand for Valentine’s Day.
“Most of the roses are imported from China and India to meet the demand. People also import lilies because they can get higher grade flowers,” he said.
Lee Wah Florist sales assistant Apple Lee said that although roses usually doubled in price in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day, they would be cheaper than last year.
She said the harsh winter climate in China caused a global shortage of roses last year, leading to an increase in prices for roses from countries like India and Kenya.
“Prices from suppliers increase one week before Valentine’s Day because roses can last for about a week. This year prices did not go up too high since China is not facing the same shortage as last year,” she said.
A check at florists in Petaling Street showed the price of roses ranged from RM45 to RM55 for a bouquet of six stalks, and RM80 to RM100 for a bouquet of 12.
A bundle of 20 uncut roses cost RM30 to RM40 compared to RM15 to RM30 at other times.
Chrysanthemums were priced at RM12 for a dozen stalks while lilies cost RM30 to RM35 for five stalks depending on size and grade.