According to the Central Office of Statistics in Poland (GUS), in 2013, the growth rate in Polish GDP rose at an average of 1.7%. Like in 2012, the main determinant of economic growth was external demand. Inflation measured using the CPI Index was 0.9% y/y. The fastest growth rate was in the price of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products. An appreciation of the zloty, in relation to both the euro and the US dollar, was noted. In 2013, the average exchange rate to the dollar was 3.1608 PLN and was 3% lower than the previous year. However, the average exchange rate to the euro was 4.1975 PLN, which translates to an annual drop of 0.3%.
Polish International Trade in all goods
In 2013, an acceleration in the dynamics of exchange was observed in Poland's international trade. A distinct increase in exports, in relation to minimal imports, gave fruit to a very large reduction in trade deficit. Exports rose by over 6% to 152.8 billion euros, and imports by 0.7% to 1155.1 billion euros. As a result, the foreign trade deficit decreased in total by up to 78% per annum from 10.6 to 2.3 billion euros (it was less by up to 8.3 billion euros!).
The overall export share of agricultural products exceeded 13%, in imports this was only 9%. In the foreign trade of agri -food products, again - as opposed to total trade – a positive balance was noted. In 2013, the annual share of total exports in developed countries did not change and was 82%, in the EU countries this dropped significantly by 1 pp, to 75%, by this much, the share also increased in developed third countries.
In the case of developed countries, in 2013 an increase of over 5% was noted in shipping, wherein, to developed countries, excluding the EU, the dynamics were significantly higher, exceeding 17%. The share of export in the EU dropped by 1 pp to 51% and the export dynamics was barely 4%. The relatively low growth rate in export, in this direction, can be explained by the weakening economic cycle in countries such as Germany and France (an increase in GDP, in 2013, of 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively – this was not compensated by the better result of Great Britain, increase in GDP by 1.7%), which are the major trade markets for Poland.
The share in export to third countries (excluding the developed ones) did not change, staying at 18%, however, exports to these regions rose by over 11%. Shipping to CIS countries increased, on an annual basis, by about 8%, and the share remained unchanged (10%). Thanks to the high dynamics in exports, developed countries – excluding the EU – gained (an increase in share of 1 pp to 7%). In the case of imports, a slight total increase was noted; the growth dynamics was slightly higher for developed countries, which did not belong to the EU than those belonging to the EU; there was a rapid decrease in purchase in the CIS. From the developed countries, 66% of imports got to Poland (up by 1 pp.), while imports from the EU were 58% (no change), and from the Euro Zone 45% (no change).
The share of purchases in CIS fell by 2 pp. to 14%. Due to a 2% decrease in imports from third countries - excluding the developed ones, import participation fell by 1pp to 34%. In the case of imports from developed countries (including the EU) a positive dynamics of 2% was noted. Imports from third countries -excluding the developed fell at the same rate (from the CIS by 12%) and from developed countries -excluding the EU it increased by 8%, which allowed for an increase in shares by 1 pp to 8%. Thanks to the high dynamics in the increase of exports to that of imports in 2013, the deficit in the trade balance of international trade decreased dynamically – by 78% or almost 8.3 billion euros y/y to 2.3 billion euros. In the case of the turnover from EU countries, a positive balance of 24.3 billion euros was noted (inclusive of almost 7.2 billion euros for the euro zone). From developed countries, without the EU, the balance closed with a deficit of about 1.3 billion euros which was a decrease of 35% y/y. A high positive balance also closed trade in the developed countries, overall (23 billion euros). However, with third countries, excluding the developed, a large deficit was noted (-25.3 billion euros). The negative net turnover from the CIS decreased by up to 38% to -6.5 billion euros, the remaining countries (excluding the developed ones and CIS) noted no change (-18.8 billion euros).
For years, Poland's most important trade partner, both in exports and imports, has been Germany. In 2013, sales in the German market grew annually by 6% to 38.2 billion euros. Imports, on the other hand, grew by 2% to 33.3 billion euros. The German participation in Polish trade, in terms of exports and imports, remained unchanged amounting to 25% and 21%, respectively. Amongst the top ten biggest markets, in terms of value, only two countries did not belong to the EU (Russia with 5% shares and Ukraine – 3% shares). In terms of imports, amongst the top ten most important suppliers, four third countries were listed: Russia(12% shares), China(9%), U.S.A (3%) and South Korea(2%). The turnover from the top ten trade partners accounted for 65% in overall exports and 67% in overall imports. It is worth noting the large decrease in purchase dynamics with Russia (-12% y/y) and South Korea (9%).
In the overall Polish international trade, the year 2013 brought a distinct increase in the share of agri-food products, wherein, the rate of export was slightly higher than for imports. The export share rose by 0.6 percentage points to 13.1% and imports increased by 0.4 percentage points to 9.2%. Attention is paid to the slowdown in the growth of exports (in 2012 it was 1.4 percentage points) and the stable dynamics in imports. An improvement in the importance of the role of trade in agri-food products and in the structure of the overall trade turnover, confirms the good condition of Polish agricultural exports against overall exports. Like the previous years, the growth dynamics in the overall export trade was much lower than in agri-food products (6.5 against 11.5%) however, in imports the purchase of agri-food rose faster (4.9 against 0.7%). The good results in this group is also confirmed by the analysis of the turnover balance. In 2013, increased exports over imports, in agricultural trade, rose by up to 32% to 5.7 billion euros. However, the overall balance of trade has been negative for years (but in 2013 it dropped radically). Polish export in agri-food products increased in 2013 by about 12% to almost 20 billion euros (17.9 billion euros the year before). The growth dynamics in imports was much lower, amounting to 5% and the import value increased to 14.2 billion euros from 13.6 billion euros a year earlier, and 12.6 billion euros two years ago. For this reason the growth dynamics in export shares of the overall export in agri-food products was higher than in the growth of imports.
The commodity structure of agri-food
In 2013, a positive balance in the Polish agri-food trade increased in the year by a third to approximately, 5.7 billion euros. The trade balance in the sectors producing processed animal and vegetable products, plant materials and stimulants improved. In the the animal sector, there was an increase in the value of export in red meat and poultry, meat products, as well as milk and dairy products. The positive trade balance in red meat increased, thanks to a significant increase in the export of pork. However, the negative trade balance of live animals and fish grew, due to the high increase in the import of swine and fresh milk. In the plant sector, the positive trade balance rose almost threefold, mainly due to an increase in the export of cereal and milling products, bread, rape and its by products, fruit and vegetables as well as their produce, and confectionary products.
In the export of Polish agri-food, low-processed products dominate, which in 2013 accounted for 58% of its value. Highly processed foods had a share of 23% and unprocessed foods 19%.The export value of low-processed foods increased by 9%, highly-processed by 16% and unprocessed 14%.
In 2013, there was an increase in the trade balance of red meat by a third, due to a 19% increase in revenues from the export of pork. Despite the significant increase in exports in the last three years, Poland still remains a net importer of this meat product. In 2013, the value in the export of beef also increased (+3%), and in the case of sheep meat and horse meat, there was a decline. The positive balance in the poultry trade saw an increase of 14% against a 5% increase in the sales value. Also, there was an increase in the revenues of meat products (+8%), milk and milk products (+12%), cheese and quark (+23%), butter (+29%), meat fat and bone meal (+8%), fish and shellfish as well as fish products (+1%). However, lower than in 2012 were the sales value of eggs and egg products (-12%), live animals, mainly, cattle, horse and sheep (-12%).
In the plant sector, like in previous years, the most important role in export was played by processed products, where its export value increased by 11% in 2013. In this group of products, there was an increase in the sales revenue of milled grain (+46%), vegetable oil and fat (+28%), oil seeds, feed and feed components (+17%), sauces, soups and thickeners (+17%), confectionery (+16%) and processed vegetables (+12%). However, the export value of sugar and molasses was lower than a year ago (-15%). In the section of plant raw materials, a 21% increase in the export value of cereal was noted. At the same time and to the same extent, imports decreased, which led to a near twofold positive increase in the balance of foreign trade in cereals. This was noted for the first time after many years in 2012. In 2013, revenue from the export of Polish rape increased by two and a half times. Thanks to the good harvest of apples in the last two years, their export increased significantly (+28% in value in 2013). Potato and vegetable exports also increased. In the 'other products' sector, the first place and at the same time the commodity with the highest value in the overall structure of factual agri-food exports was cigarettes. Its export value grew by 3% within a year. The export of alcohol and alcoholic drinks rose as well (+16%), water and non-alcoholic drinks (+21%). Proceeds from the re-export of cocoa, tea and spices declined by about 1%.
Imports in agri-food products to Poland in 2013 were dominated by low-processed goods, as usual (48% of supplies). Non-processed foods had a 33% share in purchase value and highly-processed – 19%. During the year, the value of supplies in low-processed foods rose by 3%, highly-processed by 6% and non-processed by 7%. Vegetable products accounted for more than half (51%) of the total agri-food imports, this included horticulture and preserves(18%), oil seeds and their byproducts (16%), sugar and confectionary products (9%). The cost in the supply of plant products increased by 6% since 2012. The biggest increase was in the supply value of potatoes (+30%), fresh vegetables(+19%), confectionary products (+12%), fresh fruit – mainly citrus (+10%) and fruit-vegetable preserves (+8%). Less than a year ago, spendings went to the imports of oil plant seeds (-29%), cereal (-4%), starch, grit, malt (-3%) and oil pellets and feed (-0.3%). The animal product sector had, in 2013, approximately, a third of the shares in import value in all agri-food products. Within the year, the import value in this group increased by 17%.
The commodity with the highest purchase value in foreign markets was again pork, with a 5% increase in expenditure against 2012. In the year, a significant increase was in the import value of dairy products(+37%), fish and fish products(+21%), poultry (+10%), meat products (+13%) and beef (+3%). However, less was spent, than in the previous year, on the purchase of sheep meat (-35%) and horse meat (-92%). In the group of live animals, the most important import remained swine. Due to the increasing decline in the domestic pig population, their imports (mainly piglets) into Poland increased in 2013 by about a third. The expenditure on the purchase of cattle, live poultry and horse was also higher than the year before.
In the 'other products' sector the biggest share in import value (about 40%) was coffee, tea, cocoa and spices, as usual. However, in relation to 2012, expenditure on these goods decreased by 8%. Once again there was an increase in the purchase value of unprocessed tobacco for the production of cigarettes (+2%), alcohol and alcoholic drinks (+10%). Wheras, expenditure on the imports of water and non-alcoholic drinks was less(-15%).
The geographic structure in agri-food
For many years, Poland's most important trade partners in agri-food has been the European Union countries, this was the same in 2013. The balance of trade with member states improved by 32%, as a result of a higher growth dynamics in exports than imports. The largest positive balance was noted with Germany and Russia, and the largest deficit with Argentina.
In 2013, the balance of trade in the exchange of agri-food products was similar to that of the previous years, and amounted to a value of 5.73 billion euros compared to 4.33 billion euros in 2012, this is well over a 30% increase. Last year the value of exported agricultural goods was 12% more in value – 19.96 billion euros against 17.89 billion euros the year before. A similar increase was also noted in the import value – a total sum of 13.56 billion euros against 14.22 billion euros the year before – an increase of approximately 5%. Therefore, in terms of quantity, we exported all our agricultural products. In total we exported 17.89 million tones abroad -15.07 million tones the year before, in terms of quantity, exports increased by 16%. However, by more than 600 thousand tonnes, we brought in less goods to Poland worth a total of 19 million tonnes from 19.62 million tonnes the year before.
In 2013, exactly 15.51 billion euros of agri-food products were sold to the European Union, and 13.76 billion euros worth of goods a year earlier, this accounts for a 78% share in the overall Polish export of agri-food products. The value of agri-food products exported from Poland to the EU-15 group of countries reached a 58% share in total exports – 11.59 billion euros. In the previous year, we had as was already mentioned, a consecutive positive account balance in agri-food trade with the EU – it was 5.73 billion euros, 22% higher than in 2012.
An improvement to the balance is definitely a result of better exports in this direction – in 2012, an increase of 12%. In the analysed period, goods worth approximately, 9.78 billion euros were exported to Poland from the countries in the Union as a whole, compared to 9.28 billion euros in 2012 (+5%), which gives a 69% share in the overall Polish agri-food imports. The value of agri-food products imported from the EU-15 accounted for 59% of the total value of last years imports in these goods – 8.33 billion euros, and from EU-12 a little over 10% - 1.45 billion euros.
In the past year, we exported goods worth 11.6 billion euros to the EU-15 countries, this was 10.3 billion euros a year earlier. To the EU-12, this was 3.9 billion euros compared to almost, 3.5 billion euros in 2012. In both cases, an increase of 12% was observed in the value of Polish exports.
Imports from the EU-15 closed the year with a value of 8.3 billion euros against 7.8 billion euros, and from the EU-12, the amount was about 1.45 billion euros against 1.48 billion euros, respectively. Thus, an increase of 6% was observed in the first case and only a 2% reduction in the second. The balance of trade for the EU-15 was positive and amounted to 3.27 billion euros against 2.49 billion euros a year before. In the previous year, in total, we sent more agri-food products to all the countries of the Community – 13.27 million tonnes, while we brought in less from there – 13.22 million tonnes. The drop in the size of supply was also observed in both groups EU-15 and the other 11 Member States.
In terms of value, primarily, traditionally processed Polish vegetables reached all EU markets – a value of 4.98 billion euros with a 32% share of the total agri-food exports to the EU. Also processed animal products – 4.36 billion euros (shares of 28%). In total, we exported live animals, processed meat products and plant materials and their byproducts to the EU with a value of 12.72 billion euros, which is in total, 82% of the overall export of Polish agricultural products and 63% in total exports. The most important positions in the plant sector were the export of confectionary – 1.67 billion euros (just under 11%), processed fruit – 1.03 billion euros (7%), cereal – 621 million euros, processed vegetables – more than 481 million euros, oil cake and feed – just under 470 million euros and fresh vegetables – 394 million euros. In the case of animal derived products, red meat and its offal dominated – 1.48 billion euros (a share of over 9%) and poultry meat and offal – 963 million euros (a 6% share), as well as milk, cream, and ice-cream – 665 million euros and 625 million euros for processed meat. Moreover, other important items in the exports to EU countries were tobacco products – 1.39 billion euros (9%) and 840 million euros for fish and shell fish.
The import of EU agri-food products was dominated by, in terms of value, plant products and processed vegetables – 4.83 billion euros a 49% share in the EU imports and 34% in total imports. Above all, this was dominated by confectionary products – 909 million euros + a 9% share and plant oils and fats as well as, fresh fruit with a share of 6%. In EU imports of processed and non-processed meat products (a value of 3.48 billion euros) the largest value was from red meat and offal last year – 1.46 billion euros with a share of about 15%. In addition to this, imports of coffee, cocoa, tea and spices were of considerable importance, as well as, fish, alcohol and alcoholic drinks. Last year the most important receiver of Polish agri-food goods in the EU market was first and foremost Germany, as usual. In 2013 they bought products from Poland amounting to a total of about 4.54 billion euros, which is 23% of Poland's overall export in agri-food, and 30% export to the EU countries. In comparison to 2012 (3.92 billion euros), the value of goods exported from Poland to the German market increased by 16%. Annually, in this direction we sent, above all, Polish processed plant products – 1.43 billion euros and processed animal products – 0.91 billion euros. Our largest income was from the export of fish and shellfish (mainly smoked fish); preserves from fruit; confectionery products; poultry meat and red meat and their offal; cereal and oilseeds. Milk, cream and ice-cream also had a significant position.
Great Britain again, was second in terms of export value with a total value of 1.49 billion euros and a share of over 7% in Polish overall agri-food exports and 10% in exports to the EU countries. In the previous year, the value of agri-food products exported in this direction saw a 13% increase, the value in the year before last, 1.32 billion euros. The British imported mostly confectionery products, meat products, poultry meat and processed fruit from Poland.
The top 5 importers of Polish agri-food goods amongst the EU countries were the Czech Republic (1.2 billion euros, 8% annual increase in exports); France(1.16 billon euros, 10% increase) and Holland (1.04 billion euros, 6% increase). The Czech spent the most on the purchase of Polish plant oils and fats (mainly rapeseed oil); confectionery products; red meat and poultry and cheese and quark. The French supplied themselves with tobacco and its products; fish and shellfish; poultry and red meat, as well as sweets. The Dutch in red meat, mainly beef; fruit preserves; tobacco and milk, cream and ice-cream.
The highest growth dynamics in export, in terms of value, to the EU-27 member states was to Greece (+40%), Bulgaria(+29%), Latvia (+22%). A drop in the export value of Polish agri-food products last year, concerned only two EU member states: Romania (-6%) and Ireland (-15%). In the case of Slovenia, the export value remained unchanged.
After the European Union, the second group of countries, to which we export a majority of our agri-food products are the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In 2013, there was an annual increase in the value of sales to CIS by 9%, to 2.18 billion euros against 2.0 billion euros the year before, the share in the overall export of Polish agri-food was only 11%. The export structure was dominated by fresh fruit – 509 billion euros, mainly apples (23% share), red meat and offal (15%), fresh vegetables and confectionery( about 8% each). The largest receivers in these group of countries are Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. In 2013, Russia increased the value of Polish agri-food imports by 19% to 1.25 billion euros, becoming the third overall importer of Polish agri-food goods. The most important goods supplied to the Russian market last year were: fresh fruit (25% share), dominated by apples (20%); red meat – pork; vegetables and their preserves and cheese and quark. Russia's share in supplies to the CIS group of countries amounted to 57% in terms of value and 6% in total Polish exports of agri-food products. Last year, to the east – excluding Russia – we sent goods worth a total of 457.7 million euros, to Ukraine, 8% lower than the year before. Similarly, the export value to Belarus also decreased by 4% to 293.4 million euros. To Ukraine we sent mostly fresh fruit, confectionery products and red meat as well as animal feed. However, export to Belarus was dominated by pork, lard, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as processed vegetables. Other importers of Polish agri-food products are the third countries, not belonging to any group of countries, next the NAFTA group of countries, EU candidate countries and EFTA. In the case of non-member countries, in 2013 we exported agri-food products worth 1.58 billion euros, 20% more than a year earlier. The value of Polish agricultural goods sent in this direction, last year, was about 8% of the total agri-food export from Poland. To these countries we deposited the most red meat, including pork, confectionery products, milk, cream and ice-cream, as well as cigarettes, starch, grit and malt. The largest recipients in this group of countries were China – with an increase in export value of almost 140%, compared to the previous year, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Red meat and dairy products were the most important in export value to the Chinese market. However, the Saudi market was dominated by the export of wheat and confectionery, as well as cheese and quark. The Japanese enjoyed, mainly, Polish pork, Israel in confectionery, sugar and water as well as soft drinks.
In the case of the NAFTA group of countries, that is, the United States,Canada and Mexico, last year's export value was nearly 337.0 million euros, which was 4% higher than the year before. Exports in this direction accounted for about 2% of Polish agri-food exports, in terms of value. The United States had the largest share (74%) in the group, and in 2013 imported agri-food products from Poland worth 248.8 million euros, 1% less than 2012. Imports were mainly confectionery products, meat products, as well as alcoholic drinks, fish and fish products.
In 2013, the value of agri-food shipments from Poland to EU candidate countries dropped by almost half, to 175.1 million euros, again, this decrease concerned Turkey (-66% from over 195.0 million euros), which has the largest export share in this group of countries and at the same time is reducing their imports from Poland year by year (above all beef). Such a significant decrease in the export of Polish beef is the outcome of an increase in the customs duty on this product, introduced by the Turks – in 2011 we exported goods worth over 170.0 million euros and in 2013 only worth 336 thousand euros. Apart from beef, we also sold starch, malt and grit to Turkey, as well as cigarettes and confectionery products.
To the EFTA group of countries – Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, last year we exported goods worth just under 170.0 million euros, 22% more than 2012 and this included fruit preserves, oil, confectionery products, fish and tea.
The most important supplier of Polish agri-food products has been, for many years, the European Union, with an import value of 9.78 billion euros in 2013. This gives a share of 69% in total imports. In regards to 2013, the value of these supplies rose by 5%. The most came from the EU-15 member states – 8.32 billion euros (an increase of 7% per annum), this made up a 58% share in overall imports to Poland, in terms of value and 85% in supplies from just the EU.
The other agri-food products with a share of 11% in total imports are supplies from the new EU member states – in 2013 the purchase value was 1.45 billion euros and was 2% lower than the year before. From the EU countries as a whole, we brought in significantly less agri-food products in volume, compared to 2012 (-4%) - 13.22 million tonnes. In 2013 supplies into Poland from the EU-15 Member States were dominated by pork (a 17% share), the next place was taken by confectionery products (9%), fresh fruit, plant oils and fats, as well as coffee, cocoa, tea and spices (7% each) also, alcohol and soft drinks. The new Member States exported into the Polish market confectionery and wheat (10% shares each); milk, cream and ice-cream; starch grit and malt, as well as animal feed, oil seeds and sugar.
Germany has been, for years, the largest Polish supplier of agri-food products with a 22% share in total Polish agri-food imports and a 32% share in imports from EU countries, in 2013. Last year, the value of products imported from Germany increased by 3% to 3.17 billion euros compared to 3.07 billion the year before. Red meat, including pork dominated the supply – 502.0 million euros (16% share in the import value from Germany), confectionery (13%), coffee, cocoa, tea and vegetable oil (7%) and also, animal feeds and milk products, such as milk, cream and ice-cream.
Like in previous years, in 2013 the second place in countries supplying Poland in agri-food products was Holland, we bought goods worth 1.15 billion euros – 10% higher in value than the year before, which was 1.05 billion euros. In the commodity structure of supplies, the largest share, traditionally, went to flowers (15%), red meat – pork (12%), vegetable oil (11%), and also cocoa and coffee (8%).
The third supplier of agri-food products to Poland was the member state- Spain, who increased its import value of products into our market by 6% to 739.3 million euros. Traditionally, Spain supplies the Polish market with horticultural products – fresh fruit mainly citrus (39% of the import value), also fresh vegetables (23%), red meat, fruit and vegetable preserves and alcohol (wine).
The fourth place, for the first time in years, went to Norway, who last year increased the value of imports to Poland by 30% compared to the year before. The total import value was 628.1 million euros compared to 483.1 million a year earlier. From this country we bought, above all, fresh and processed fish with a total value of 623 million euros – a 99% share in imports to the Polish market. Supplies from Norway were dominated by fresh salmon with a value of almost 495 million euros compared to 348 million the year before.
Finally, the 5th place in last years imports was from Denmark, who exported goods worth a total of 11% more than the previous year – just under 672 million euros. Imports from Denmark were dominated by pork and swine. The next position in the forefront of exports to Poland was taken by Argentina, who decreased their export value to Poland by 14% compared to the year before to just under 591 million euros. Approximately, 86% of the import value from this country constituted soybean meal – 491 million euros, vital components for the production of industrial feed, in addition, oil seeds and tobacco. Furthermore, goods worth 560 million euros were delivered by the Italians, mainly fruit, confectionery products, wine; the French – 518 million euros and the Belgians.
According to: (FAMMU/FAPA), Foreign Agricultural Markets Monitoring Team – April 2014