Poland, brief agricultural news week 32, 2020
What happened in Poland last week? A brief overview of agricultural news.
Record level of apple prices
At the end of the 2019/2020 season apple prices reached a record level on the domestic market. In June, the price of Polish apples exceeded EUR 109 per 100 kg, which is a historic record for Poland, which is one of the largest fruit growers in Europe. However, the producer sector itself is very poorly organized. Therefore, there is a lack of power in negotiations and in contacts with intermediaries, which means that often purchases dictate prices for fruit below the cost of production.
The prices of most apple varieties have risen four times. In the wholesale markets in July, apple prices were on average 175% higher than in previous year. The reason for the increases was the low availability of apples from last year's harvest and the relatively low supply of these fruits from this year's harvest, including early varieties. The harvest this year is weak, despite the fact that the Polish Statistical Office forecasted a 6% increase in production on annual basis. Historical were also record low stocks of domestic apples. The global association of apple and pear producers - WAPA - estimates that the stocks of apples in Poland at the beginning of July amounted to only 11 thousand tonnes, which means the lowest level since 2012 and lower by 89% than a year ago. Low stocks are partly a consequence of the significant drop in harvest in Poland in 2019, which was as much as a quarter lower (only 3 million tonnes) than during the excellent harvest in 2018. Stocks were also reduced by the coronavirus epidemic - sales of apples accelerated after the outbreak of the pandemic.
Poland is the largest producer of apples in the EU and third in the world (after China and the USA).
Coronavirus increased demand on gardens in Poland
There were ca 44% Poles working remotely in the last three months. Experts say this level will remain, especially at 34% Poles still want to work from home, at least a few days a week. This clearly translates into changes in the arrangement and equipment of apartments in Poland.
From the beginning of the pandemic, home workers appreciated home gardens, balconies and terraces more. They are considered "particularly important" by as many as 29% more respondents than in the period before COVID-19.
The change in expectations regarding apartments is also visible on real estate portals. Otodom.pl platform reports that the number of inquiries about real estate with gardens during the pandemic increased by 60%. Developers also say about the new preferences of customers: The areas belonging to apartments, such as larger balconies, gardens and large terraces, have also become very important for customers. Garden properties in the suburbs are getting extremely popular in the last months was the conclusion of the platform.
Source: Puls biznesu
Good season for black currant producers
According to the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, the last purchase prices for freezing blackcurrants ranged from 3.30 to even 4 PLN / kg for large batches of good-quality fruit delivered to the cold store. - Pressing currants were a bit cheaper, but their prices also exceeded 3 PLN / kg. The current season of black currant producers, after many unprofitable years, can be considered favorable. The yields were lower but not as much as originally expected and high prices guaranteed a profit.
The situation on the red currant market was different. In this market, prices showed a downward trend.
Polish Central Statistical Office expects increased harvest this season
According to preliminary estimation by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), this year's cereal crop may reach nearly 27.9 million tonnes, which is 11 percent more than a year before. The winter grain harvest is estimated at 18.7 million tonnes (8 percent up y/y), and spring grain harvest is expected to reach 9.2 million tonnes (16 percent up). This year's crop area is by 1 percent larger y/y, at 7.2 million hectares. The largest growth has been recorded in the area of wheat field; it expanded by 2.5 million hectares to some 7.2 million. The rape seed harvest is estimated at 2.6 million tonnes, which is 12 percent more than a year before, although rape area shrank by 0.2 percent to 800,000 hectares. The forecast of vegetable production is standing at nearly 4.1 million tonnes, a six-percent growth y/y; with tree fruit harvest expected to increase by 5 percent and exceed 3.6 million tonnes. In the recent report, GUS estimates that frequent rainfall in June and July has stopped the drought and had a positive effect on crops.
Source: PNB Economic Review
Polish president declares support to agriculture
Polish President Andrzej Duda declared in a speech inaugurating his second term to be a president of Polish affairs, and underlined that this would be the motto of his presidency.
"Just as I have promised, I will be a president of Polish affairs. This was not simply an election slogan, this is the motto of my presidency," the president stated, underlining that family, security, jobs, investments and dignity were of key importance for Poland.
Referring to security, the President said it had to be broadly perceived, since this was not only the police and army but also energy, health and food security. In this context he thanked Polish farmers for their efforts, especially during COVID-19 epidemics, and assured that the president will provide the Polish countryside and Polish agriculture with comprehensive care from the state.
President Duda was reelected for a five-year term of office on July 12 with 51.03 percent of the vote. Rafal Trzaskowski, his contender representing the Civic Coalition (KO), received 48.97 percent.
Source: PAP, prezydent.pl