Poland, brief agricultural news week 30, 2020

What happened in Poland last week? A brief overview of agricultural news.

mix of varous vegetables in a bowl
©A.Murawska

Food prices go up in June

June brought an increase in farm gate prices of basic agricultural products.

According to data published by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), the most significant increase (4.8 percent m/m) was noted in prices of poultry and pork meat. Price of beef went up by 0.7 percent m/m and 3.5 percent y/y.

Experts explain that the rise in meat prices has been the result of increased demand on the domestic and foreign markets. The reopening of hotels and restaurants, resumption of exports to the EU and reopening of markets closed to Polish meat exports due to avian influenza (HPAI) have been the main causes of the rise in demand for meat.

An increase was also noted in prices of some cereals (rye, corn). The price of milk has stabilised. Overall, prices of agricultural products in June were 3.7 percent lower than a year ago; however, the coming months may bring an increase, which would reverse the trend.

Source: PNB Ecominic Review

Polish zloty of different value next to each other
©A.Murawska

Poles do not save during pandemic

Every fourth household has reduced its spending, but compared to other countries, we are optimistic and expect a quick return to ‘old reality’.

It is not bad and it will be better - this is the attitude of Poles during the pandemy. In June, the Polish office of the consulting company EY conducted a research on consumer behavior called "Future Consumer Index", in which it asked about cutting expenses during the pandemic and whether they intend to save or rather return to normal shopping in the near future. Most of the respondents "remain calm and try to function as before."

Poles introduce savings plans less strongly than representatives of other European countries. They adopt a wait-and-see attitude and, by not deciding to make radical cuts, expect a return to normalcy.

43% Poles surveyed declare that they do not change the way they spend money, although they are concerned that others are saving. Another 30% declares an attitude which EY calls "hibernate and spend", on the one hand they are afraid of a pandemic, but on the other hand, they believe that they are well prepared, are optimistic about the future and spend the most of the respondents.

Who is saving?

Poles have reduced their spending to some extent during the pandemic, as shown by statistical data, but a rebound is already visible. Interestingly, they reduce spending to a much lesser extent than in other developed countries and are very optimistic about the future: only 14% Poles declare that in the near future they will continue to save or cut expenses, while globally it is 28%. If you compare Poland with large neighboring countries, then in terms of attitude they are much closer to the Russians than to the Germans.

Poles admit that in some areas the pandemic will change their lives – 61% answers positively to the question of whether they will pay more attention to what they buy when shopping and intends to choose products that are healthier for the body. More than two-thirds declare a withdrawal from cash and the use of contactless payments to "minimize contact with potential sources of infection." However, they anticipate radical changes.

Compared to the inhabitants of other developed countries, Poles remain optimistic and do not expect major changes in their lifestyle or work as a result of the pandemic. For example, 43% Poles are afraid of going to the cinema, and 14% would feel "extremely uncomfortable" in such a place, while globally it is 78% and 58% respectively, so the difference is very clear.

Source: Puls Biznesu

rode appels
©Murawska

Less apples from Polish trees?

In the coming season, fruit growers from the Grójec-Warka region have already suffered several disasters. First spring frosts and drought, then heavy torrential rains and hailstorm.
Unfavorable phenomena from early spring and early summer reduced the potential total fruit yield. These include early spring (March) temperature drops to even -10 degrees, which, according to many experts, damaged flower buds. In addition, later frosts that weakened and damaged the flowers, then a drought in the period right after flowering. In addition, there was the June rainfall, the scale of which also turned out to be high. For this reason, young fruit buds were very weak, which made them particularly vulnerable to the heavy June rainfalls. Summarizing, there are many orchards where the harvest is not much higher than a year ago.
Everyone wonders how many apples, pears and other fruits will be harvested this year. The analyzes are being done in the regional structures of the Polish Fruit Growers Association show that Poland can collect a bit more of these two important species than in the previous season. However, definitely less than in the record-breaking 2018. It is similar with cherries and plums. The basic variety of cherry, which is Łutówka, suffered from temperature drops in March. The weak bond was probably a consequence of this phenomenon. It is very similar in plums and cherries.
The worst situation is in the widely understood Grójecko-Warka region, to which today we need to add the basin around Biała Rawska, which has been very much developed in recent years. The situation is slightly better in the Lublin region and in Sandomierskie and other locations. However, there are also places where losses are huge, for example in some orchards near Sandomierz.

Source: SadyOgrody.pl

groenten
©Murawska

Polish government is working on the National Food Holding

The Ministry of State Assets is working on merging the supervised food companies into the national Food Holding. The first stage is over, in which the concept was created and 17 state-controlled companies were selected for consolidation. The Ministry of State Assets has started the appraisal of the assets of these companies, and will then launch legal procedures. The merger of agri-food companies into one state holding is to strengthen the position of Polish players on the market and provide consumers with high-quality products at good prices. It is also to provide farmers with fair prices for their products.

It is expected that the National Food Holding will be a strong player on at least several markets in the agri-food industry, namely the markets of: sugar, potato, cereals and mills, as well as seed processing. The new consolidated entity will include producers and processors, but it is not planned to create a network of state-owned grocery stores or retailers, as the Ministry of State Assets claims. The consolidation of the agri-food sector is to take place through the National Sugar Company, which operates on the sugar, starch and cereal markets.

Source: portalspozywczy.pl

appels in kisten
©Murawska

State-owned companies promote the "Polish product"

On 17 July 2020, representatives of the management of the National Agricultural Support Center and companies supervised by the Ministry of State Assets signed letter of intent concerning joint actions aimed at increasing public awareness in the search and selection of food products made in Poland with the use of Polish raw materials and marked with the POLISH PRODUCT trademark. State-owned companies want to promote the "Polish product" on trains, buses and the post offices.

The "Polish product" logo itself was introduced three years ago. In order for it to be placed on the packaging, food must be made of raw materials from Poland. If it is a processed product, foreign ingredients may constitute up to a quarter of the mass. Meat must come from animals that were born and bred in Poland.

The National Agricultural Support Center carries out intensive information and education activities through #KupujŚwiadomie (#buyConsciously) and  #ProduktPolski (#PolishProduct) campaigns, aimed at increasing the awareness of Polish consumers with regard to the origin of food. According to the Center, the value of the "Polish product" logo has recently increased as retail chains have started to use it in their promotional leaflets and label their own brands with it.

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, rp.pl

goosberry on a brunch
©A.Galica

Infrigment in goosberries?

At the request of Agricultural Chambers, Minister of Agriculture asked the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection to examine whether competition rules in gooseberry sales had been violated. This year gooseberries were bought at 0.5 pln/kg (similar to 2019). It was also reported that many companies buying gooseberry in the Lublin Province sell it further to Western markets, where the demand for this fruit is huge. Farmers pointed out that the buying-in price is inadequate to the price of further sale of gooseberry, which reaches even PLN 3.00 per kilo.

Source: UOKIK, SadyOgrody.pl

fields of grain
©A.Murawska

The first cereal harvesting in Poland

This year's harvest is effectively hindering rainfall, and its advancement is very poor compared to last year. In the case of wheat for consumption, prices are often above PLN 700 / t net. The price of barley is still low and amounts to approx. PLN 560 / t, and the average price of rapeseed is PLN 1,630 / t.

- The harvest is of different degree of advancement in different regions of the country. The harvesting of barley and rapeseed is taking place all over Poland, but it is also interrupted by rainfall, and some plantations are still immature. In the case of other types of cereals, such as rye and triticale with rye, crops in weaker positions are harvested, but so far these are rather single plantations. The good harvest will begin, weather permitting, in a week and a half, says Rafał Mładanowicz, president of the National Federation of Cereal Producers, in an interview with the portal farmer.pl.

According to information from the collection points, the barley yields this season are good, reaching even 8 t / ha. The quality is also satisfactory. Possible problems relate to too low grain density and higher protein.

Occasionally, wheat is mowed on lighter soils and farmers estimate its yield at about 5-7 t / ha. Rye is also harvested, the yield of which is not high, amounting to 2-5 t / ha. It should also be noted that many plantations were damaged due to torrential rains and hailstorms.

Rapeseed yields at the level of 2.5-4 t / ha. The seeds are characterized by a relatively low degree of oiliness, usually reaching 38-40 percent.

Source: farmer.pl