KUNMING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Livestreamers and merchants start their work early in the morning at the bustling Dounan Flower Market in the city of Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, surrounded by a rainbow of flowers for sale.
"I introduce flowers at the market to my audience on livestreaming platforms, and I also communicate with foreign enterprises about flower exports," said Hua Ren, who is from a family of florists and has been engaged in the import and export of flowers for over a decade.
"Southeast Asia has a high demand for potted plants and flowers, which we can provide steadily," Hua said, adding that he has sensed a gradual rebound in the warmer market and imported about 1 million orchid seedlings last year.
As Asia's largest fresh-cut flower trading market and a reliable barometer of China's flower market prowess, Kunming Dounan Flower Market has exported flowers to more than 40 countries and regions.
From Jan. 1 until the Lantern Festival on Feb. 5, the Kunming International Flora Auction Trading Center (KIFA) in Dounan embraced a surge in trade volume, with prices of items such as single roses increasing from the same period in 2019.
KIFA's trade volume climbed to 11.6 million during the Spring Festival holiday, and the trade volume of cut flowers in Dounan was approximately 77.56 million, with a turnover of more than 100 million yuan (about 14.7 million U.S. dollars). Dounan saw a daily average of more than 20,000 visitors during the period, according to the management committee of the Kunming Dounan International Flowers Industrial Park.
In the KIFA auction hall, buyers from all over the country can quickly decide whether or not they should bid for flowers based on information on the varieties, grades and prices displayed on a trading screen. When the auction is over, the flowers are packaged before heading to cities across China or to foreign countries.
"Increasing numbers of weddings and opening ceremonies continue to boost the market, and the upcoming Valentine's Day is expected to be another sales peak," said Li Qian, an auctioneer at KIFA.
The price index of cut flowers at KIFA peaked at 598 points this year, up from 440 points in January 2022. "Both in terms of volume and price, we can see that the market has recovered significantly," Li said.
Dounan's logistics system has also been upgraded from road transport alone to include transport options such as air and high-speed rail.
"A quarter of my flowers are sold online," said florist Zhang Kuaping, who has regular customers in Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou who now order on a monthly basis. "I match different flowers according to their preferences and deliver the flowers by air." ■