Increase of the Polish agri-food export
Polish domestic entrepreneurs operating in the agri-food industry, performed very well in the international market. In 2021, sales of agri-food goods abroad reached an unprecedented level of EUR 37.4 billion (PLN 170.8 billion), by 9% higher than the year before.
The possibility of increasing the export of agri-food products allows to manage surplus food produced in Poland, is an important source of revenues for the Polish agri-food industry and indirectly affects the economy of the whole country.
The increase in the export resulted from the growing economic activity of Polish entrepreneurs, good preparation of domestic companies for operating in the conditions of the pandemic, high quality of offered products and continued demand for Polish products in the international market, thanks to the adaptation of the product range offer by our domestic entrepreneurs to the diversified preferences of foreign consumers. The price competitiveness of Polish agri-food products was supported by the PLN/EUR exchange rate which was favorable for exporters. The good export results in 2021 were also the effect of the recovery of the European and global economy after the crisis caused by the lockdown in 2020.
At the same time, the import of agri-food goods amounted to EUR 24.7 billion (PLN 112.6 billion) and was by 8.6% higher than the year before. The positive trade balance increased by 9.7% when compared to 2020, reaching EUR 12.7 billion (PLN 58.2 billion).
Geographical structure of agri-food export from Poland
In 2021, Polish agri-food products went to customers in 198 countries on all continents. The significant diversification of export destinations allowed to reduce the decrease in the value of export to the United Kingdom after the country left the EU customs union. Just like in previous years, agri-food products were exported from Poland mainly to the European Union market. Deliveries to the EU-27 generated EUR 27.1 billion (an increase by 11%), accounting for 73% of total agri-food export. The Polish agri-food export to the EU market is characterized by a significant geographical concentration. German remained the major trading partner of Poland. The export to this country in 2021 was by 9% higher than the year before. Important customers of Polish agri-food products were also:
- the Netherlands (an increase by 16%),
- France (an increase by 16%),
- Italy (an increase by 10%) and
- the Czech Republic (an increase by 5%).
In total, the export to the markets of the five above-mentioned countries accounted for about 64% of the value of export to the EU-27. In 2021, Poland exported to non-EU countries agri-food products for the value by 3% higher than the year before. The export to non-EU countries (not belonging to the CIS) increased by 2%. Major customers of domestic agri-food products, as in previous years, were primarily: the United Kingdom, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Algeria, followed by Israel, Norway, as well as China and Switzerland. In 2021, the export to the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States were at the level by 10% higher than the year before. Among the CIS countries, the largest value was achieved by the export to Ukraine with an increase by 7%, then to the Russian Federation with an increase by 19%.
Commodity structure of export of agri-food products from Poland
The commodity structure of Polish export of agri-food products was dominated by meat and meat products. In 2021, revenues obtained from foreign sales within this commodity group were by 9% higher than the year before, accounting for 19% of the value of total Polish export of agri-food products. The largest share in the value of export was that of: poultry meat (39%), meat products (24%), beef (23%) and pork (11%). The export of live animals and other meat species was relatively small and accounted for 2% and 1%, respectively, of revenues from the export of meat products from Poland. The second position, in terms of value with the 13% share in the export of agri-food products from Poland, was occupied by cereals and products, whose sales, when compared to 2020, increased by 10%. An increase in the value of export was also recorded in the case of sugar and confectionery (by 9%), milk products (by 13%), as well as fish and fish products (by 4%). Higher was also the value of export of, inter alia, vegetables and vegetable products – by 7%, fruit and fruit products – by 15%, oilseeds and vegetable fats – by 27%, coffee, tea and cocoa – by 2%, fruit and vegetable juices by 22% and alcohol – by 9%. On the other hand, revenues from foreign sales of tobacco and tobacco products decreased (by 4%).