Japan’s flower exports hit 13.5 billion yen in 2017 as bonsai becomes increasingly popular

TOKYO, Feb. 1 — In 2017, Japan’s flower exports reached 13.5 billion yen, according to the statistics released by Ministry of Finance of Japan. It grew 50% from the previous year, exceeding 10 billion yen for the first time. The growth was driven by the growing popularity of bonsai miniature potted plant in overseas markets, which lead to the large shipment of garden trees and bonsai miniature potted plants mainly in China.

Exports of garden trees and bonsai plants accounted for 90% and saw an annual jump of 57% over the previous year to 12.6 billion yen. Japan’s biggest flower market overseas was China, to whom it exported the products of a total of 6.3 billion yen, up 41% compared to last year. The shipment to the second largest flower export market, Vietnam, surged 250% to 3.4 billion yen. In China, a demand for a plant called maki (Buddhist Pine) is growing as it’s believed to bring good luck. Also, Bonsai with miniature pine trees and other plants are increasingly popular mainly in Asia.

Exports of cut flowers, both fresh and dried, jumped 20% to 862.5 million yen. Japan’s two largest cut flower exports markets were Hong Kong and the U.S. The shipment to Hong Kong was 316 million yen, up 8% year-over-year, while the shipment to the U.S. boosted 32% to 251.34 million.

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