Production of vegetable oils in Poland

The cultivation of oilseeds plays an important role in Polish agriculture. Oilseed seeds are a valuable raw material used for the production of edible and technical fats. Of great importance is also the fodder and textile use of oilseed products.

rapeseed field in bloom with a tree and a blue sky
©C.Spaans

Poland is among leading producers of vegetable oils. On the industrial scale, dominant is the production of rape-seed oil which is a strategic product of the Polish agri-food sector. Of market importance are also sunflower and soybean oils. The production scale of raw rapeseed oil ranks Poland the third producer in the European Union (after Germany and France) and the sixth producer in the world. The share of the country in the EU production of rapeseed oil amounts to about 13%.

Since 2013, the domestic production of raw rapeseed oil has exceeded 1 million tonnes a year. In the last six years, the production of refined rapeseed oil in Poland has been between 0.7 to 0.8 million tonnes, of which the production volume of consumption oil was about 0.5 million tonnes and of technical oil – between 0.2 and 0.3 million tonnes. In Poland, sunflower oil is also produced, on a significantly lower scale, and its production is characterized by a dynamic upward trend. In the years 2015–2020, the domestic production of refined edible sunflower oil increased from 14.6 thousand tonnes to estimated 38 thousand tonnes, i.e. 2.6 times.

Main importers of Polish rapeseed oil
©Polish Food

Foreign trade in vegetable oils

From among edible vegetable oils, Poland exports abroad mainly sunflower, rapeseed and soybean oils. These oils are also imported to Poland. In addition, the subject of significant import are also oils made of oilseeds coming from other climatic zones, i.e. palm oil, coconut oil and olive oil. The export volume of rapeseed oil in recent years has been stable and is within the range of 82–89 thousand tonnes. Also, since 2015 the import of this product has been growing dynamically. In the years 2015–2020, the import of rapeseed oil to Poland increased by 63%, i.e. from 122 thousand tonnes to 200 thousand tonnes. Therefore, in 2020 the negative trade balance for rapeseed oil amounted to 115 thousand tonnes. The major export destination of rapeseed oil in 2020 was Germany, where nearly 50% of exported oil were sold. Significant amounts of rapeseed oil were also sent to the markets of the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Sweden.

koolzaad veld
©Homan MAC

Since 2015, a large increase in the export of sunflower oil has been recorded, and it is stimulated by the export demand from the EU countries. In 2020, Polish entrepreneurs sold abroad 94 thousand tonnes of sunflower oil, more than five times more than in 2015. Also, in the years 2015–2020, the import of sunflower oil increased more than five times, to 292 thousand tonnes. The negative balance of foreign trade in sunflower oil in 2020 amounted to 198 thousand tonnes. Domestic entrepreneurs sold sunflower oil mainly in the European Union market. Major customers of this product range in 2020 were Germany and Estonia (15 thousand tonnes each), Slovakia and Belgium (14 thousand tonnes each) and Austria (12 thousand tonnes). The markets of the above-mentioned five EU countries used in total 75% of the Polish export volume of sunflower oil. The subject of Polish export is also soybean oil. In recent years, the foreign sale of soybean oil has been characterized by a significant upward trend. In the years 2015–2020, the export of soybean oil increased from 1 thousand tonnes to 41 thousand tonnes. The import scale was much larger. In the last six years, the national import of soybean oil increased from 94 thousand tonnes to 228 thousand tonnes. Just like in the case of rapeseed and sunflower oils, in 2020 Poland recorded the negative trade balance for this product amounting to about 187 thousand tonnes.

Source: Polish Food