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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » August 29, 2013
Polska…tastes good!
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Dairy Product Sales Grow
August 29, 2013   
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Soaring exports and growing domestic consumption of milk and dairy products are great news for Poland’s dairy industry.

Today the average per capita consumption of milk and dairy products in Poland is almost 200 liters a year (in raw milk equivalent terms), which is 10 liters more than at the end of last decade, but still below the EU average of 260 liters.

However, the gap separating Poland from other EU countries in terms of dairy product consumption is expected to shrink as the value of the Polish market for dairy products increases. Estimates show that in three years’ time, the market will be worth almost zl.17 billion.

Higher revenue for Poland’s dairy producers will come from both the booming domestic market and exports. Ever since joining the EU, Poland has almost quadrupled the value of its dairy exports, an upward trend that was also maintained last year. A report by the Foreign Agricultural Markets Monitoring Unit (FAMMU) and the Foundation of Assistance Programs for Agriculture (FAPA) shows that sales of Polish dairy products abroad have grown steadily since 2010. Last year sales abroad totaled 1.4 billion euros, 3.4 percent more than in 2011, reaching the highest level ever. Imports, in turn, were 1 percent down to 473.4 million euros.

Export statistics last year were topped by cheese, whose value grew over 13.3 percent to 550.4 million euros. Dried milk, mainly non-fat dried milk, came in second and although, in terms of weight, Poland exported 3.1 percent more dried milk than in 2011 (111,600 metric tons), the revenue was 6 percent lower, at 235.6 million euros. More liquid milk and cream (288,300 metric tons) was sold abroad last year than in 2011, but the revenue was 2 percent lower, at 186.2 million euros. Compared with 2011, exports of whey increased sharply in terms of both value (28 percent up to 173.8 million euros) and volume (194,500 metric tons, 15.5 percent up).

Exports of milk and dairy products continue to grow this year as well. According to the Finance Ministry, Polish dairy products shipped abroad in the first five months of this year were worth 626.6 million euros, almost 13 percent more than in the same period last year. Exports to Russia were 60 percent higher than last year at 45.9 million euros.

The Finance Ministry’s data also points to a steady increase in cheese exports. Between January and May, these rose 16 percent over January-May last year and reached 81,600 metric tons. Poland mainly owes these good results to growing sales to Russia, which increased 57 percent to 10,600 metric tons.

High prices on global markets have caused the value of cheese exports to grow even faster—more than 19 percent year-on-year (260.6 million euros). Poland is among the world’s largest producers of cheese, outperformed only by the United States, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy. In terms of value, 70 percent of Poland’s cheese exports go to other EU member countries.

Compared with the first five months of last year, between January and May this year Poland also sold 3 percent more butter (16,000 metric tons) and almost 18 percent more whey (97,200 metric tons).

Polish dairy products are mainly exported to other EU member states, but as a result of the growing demand for dairy products in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Poland has been able to boost its dried milk exports to Algeria and whey exports to China, Indonesia and Malaysia. A good sign for Polish dairy producers is that their dairy exports beyond the single EU market continue to grow, with an especially strong increase in sales to Russia, which was the third largest buyer of Polish cheese last year.
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