Christmas tree market reports mixed fortunes

Christmas tree suppliers at Four Oaks reported mixed fortunes, with higher prices being offset by lower customer orders.

Joseph Noblett, owner of the Christmas tree supplier of the same name, said: "The combination of the weak pound and fewer trees being harvested in Denmark will have a knock-on effect.

"The top 20 per cent of the market will pay more but will be stable in terms of volume. The bottom 20 per cent will decrease a lot as it's the most price-conscious."

He added that this was leading to a resurgence in the popularity of pines, including Pinus contorta, in the Midlands and north of England. "The Nordmann price is the European price, and it's up 30 to 40 per cent. But there's no European commodity price for pine."

Powys-based Evergreen Christmas Trees owner Philip Fourie also put the price rise at 30 per cent.

Real Tree Company representative Edmund Bloom said: "The Danish prices are expensive and UK growers have followed suit. They're up about £4 to £6 per tree. Some buyers have decided to order 700 instead of 1,000 and make up the rest with artificial trees."

He added that market conditions had brought uncertainty. "Usually by now we'd have 85 per cent of orders in, but not this year - there's a lot of wait-and-see."

Wolverhampton-based supplier HS Hommers representative Peter Hommers said: "There's not a shortage, but there's a shortage of the quality people want, and the Danish ones are still the best."

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