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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » September 28, 2012
Polska...tastes good!
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Polish Food Exports on the Rise
September 28, 2012   
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Despite the economic crisis buffeting countries which are the main importers of Polish goods, Poland is continuing to export large amounts of food. Agricultural and food exports are still growing fast.

Agricultural and food products have been gaining importance in Poland’s foreign trade for many years. The country has had a positive balance in the trade of agricultural and food products each year since 2003. In the seven months of 2012, the surplus reached 1.9 billion euros and was over 70 percent higher than a year earlier, when it stood at 1.1 billion euros.

In January-July period of this year, Poland recorded the highest surpluses in its agri-food trade with Russia, Britain, France and the Czech Republic—561 million, 476 million, 316 million and 278 million euros respectively. Poland also had a surplus of 253 million euros in its agri-food trade with Germany, which has been Poland’s largest trade partner for years. In turn, Poland’s imports from Argentina, Spain and Norway were much higher than exports to these countries, with trade deficits of 336 million, 238 million and 253 million euros respectively.

Between January and July this year, Poland exported 9.3 billion euros worth of agricultural and food products, over 12.6 percent more than in the same period last year. The value of exports to other European Union countries increased by 9.2 percent year-on-year, while exports to the EU15 rose by 10.7 percent and shipments to 11 new member states grew by 5.2 percent. The total value of the products Poland sold on the EU market in 2012 came to 7.0 billion euros. The share of the EU in Poland’s overall agricultural and food exports dropped slightly to 75.7 percent from 78.0 percent in January-July 2011. Poland’s exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) were worth 1.1 billion euros, rising by 33 percent from a year earlier. At the same time, Poland recorded an over 175 percent increase in exports to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Polish fish and juices a hit in Germany

Polish food has been popular with German consumers for a long time. In 2012, Poland exported more than 1.9 billion euros worth of agricultural and food products to Germany. The figure was 9.4 percent higher than a year earlier. Britain and Russia were the second and third largest markets for Polish agri-food products respectively. Exports to Britain were worth 675 million and exports to Russia totaled 605 million euros.

In terms of value, the top Polish exports to Germany were smoked fish, especially smoked salmon, fruit juices, in particular apple juice, poultry meat, biscuits, wafers and similar products, deep-frozen fruit, mainly strawberries and raspberries, powdered milk, tobacco and beef. The main Polish exports to Britain were chocolate, chocolate products, poultry meat and meat products while exports to Russia included mainly apples, chocolate, chocolate products, deep-frozen vegetables, cheese and mushrooms.

Tobacco, poultry meat, chocolate, chocolate products, pork, beef, biscuits, wafers and similar products, apples, syrups, cheese, fruit juices and smoked fish were the main products exported by Poland in January-July 2012.

Trade surplus widens
Poland is a leading producer and exporter of food in Europe, but it also imports large quantities of food from other countries. According to Agriculture Ministry data, Poland imported 7.4 billion euros worth of agricultural and food products in the first seven months of this year, 3.5 percent more than a year earlier. Since exports grew 9.1 percent faster than imports, Poland’s trade surplus widened.

Poland’s imports from other European Union countries were worth a total of 5.1 billion euros, 0.9 percent more than in the same period last year. Imports from other EU countries, on tahe other hand, accounted for 68.9 percent of Poland’s overall agricultural and food imports, compared with 70.7 percent a year earlier. The value of imports from 11 new member countries, which entered the EU after May 1, 2004, rose by 16.1 percent to 836 million euros, while the value of imports from CIS countries grew by 60.0 percent to 365 million euros.

Most of the agricultural and food products imported to Poland in the first seven months of the year came from Germany and were worth a total of 1.7 billion euros. The figure was 9.4 percent higher to that recorded a year earlier. In terms of value, the top Polish imports from Germany were pork, chocolate, chocolate products, coffee, pet food, biscuits, wafers and similar products, cheeses and syrups.
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