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Half fewer orders for greenhouse construction in energy crisis

With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, a big drop in orders for greenhouse construction took place. While in the period January 2018 to June 2021, new orders averaged about 8.6 million euros per month, in the period after February 2022, this was only 4 million euros per month. So concludes WUR in a study on the impact of the energy crisis on horticulture in the Netherlands.

In the period from July 2021, when energy prices started to rise, to January 2022 - the volume of new orders was slightly lower than in the previous period but remained fairly level. In the figures on greenhouse production, a slight decrease is only visible in the last available periods, from December 2022. As the number of new orders decreases, greenhouse production is also expected to decline after some time.

Area hasn't shrunk
Greenhouses represent, on average, the largest part of growers' balance sheet value. Data are kept by CBS on the cost of construction projects requiring a permit and exceeding 50 thousand euros.

A new greenhouse, depending on the type of greenhouse and construction, easily costs between 750 thousand euros and 1.25 million euros per hectare in construction costs and basic accessories, such as lighting and screens. In some crops, such as Phalaenopsis, the construction costs and installations per hectare can be much higher still because of the additional investments in (mobile) tables, watering systems, and automation systems.

Incidentally, the area under horticulture increased between 2019 and 2021 after years of decline. This is partly explained by new construction and partly by better registration of the existing greenhouse area by CBS.

Blue: Received orders, orange: production of structures. Caption: Construction costs per phase, horticultural greenhouses and garden center greenhouses, in millions of euros, January-March 2023. Source: CBS. The large peak in November 2020 is likely to concern the newly built project Nieuwland in the region Noordoostpolder.

Source: WUR

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