Wuhan coronavirus hits Taiwan demand for roses on Valentine’s Day

Lower prices amid normal supply levels

A flower market in Taipei. 

A flower market in Taipei.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Demand for roses this Valentine’s Day dropped by a third in Taiwan due to fears of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), reports said Friday (Feb. 14).

The roses were planted half a year ago, way before anyone had heard of the virus, leading to a normal level of supply, CNA reported.

As a result, wholesale prices for the flowers fell by 10 to 20 percent, according to traders. Demand from the public was down by more than 30 percent, the Taipei association of florists said.

It had become possible to express one’s romantic feelings with a bouquet of 20 roses for a price of just NT$300 (US$10) or even NT$200.

Of the alternatives to roses, lilies went for NT$100 to NT$200 for a bouquet of five, eustomas cost NT$100 to NT$300 for 10, oncidium orchids were available at NT$100 for 10, and flaming lilies or anthuriums went for NT$10 to NT$20 a piece, CNA reported.