Poland, brief agricultural news week 15, 2020
What happened in Poland last week? A brief overview of agricultural news.
Half of Poles will cut Easter expenses because of a pandemic
Almost half of Poles intend to cut Easter expenses. Only within a few weeks the research on the Poles' Easter plans became out-of-date. According to the research Provident Barometer in February, just over half of the respondents planned to spend up to PLN 500, another 17% planned to spend between PLN500 and PLN1000. The average Easter budget was PLN 637 at the time and was slightly higher than a year ago. In March, most respondents declared that they would review their expenses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only 30% of respondents do not plan to cut their Easter budgets.
Because of changing holiday plans Poles have also revised their expenses. Poles’ plans to spend holidays are different now: 43% respondents will spend Easter at home with their family or alone, almost 25% will celebrate with family but on distance thanks to the use of internet technology, 10% declare that their holiday plans will not change because of the pandemic situation.
Poles are attached to tradition, so this year they will miss the habit of consecrating food the most, which due to Corona pandemic was suspended. For 78% of respondents Easter tradition is important. In February survey respondents indicated traditional dishes as dominant at Easter table. Poles cannot imagine Easter without Żurek/rye soup (57%) or white borscht (41%), eggs (75%) and white sausage (almost 50%). Representatives of the oldest generation are extremely attached to traditional flavors. Generation differences in taste are best seen in the choice of cakes: the oldest prefer a traditional Mazurek while the young prefer poppy seed cake.
Changing trends in primary products purchase
Dairy products, yeast, flour are hits of the last week of March. As the epidemic progresses, Poles buy different products, in different shops and in a different way.
First of all, Poles began to buy food closer to home. In the times of the coronavirus pandemic, they lost the urge to travel longer, and small shops in the neighborhood sell more food.
This is the conclusion from the research on fiscal receipts analyzed by Comp Platform Services. Thanks to its m/platform, the company has downloaded sales results from over 4.6 thousand small shops. First of all, small shops sell more, the value of the shopping basket has already increased from PLN 18.5 a year ago to around PLN 26 today.
During the initial shopping fever, which occurred in the 11th week of the year, customers brushed the famous toilet paper off the shelves. The sale of dry food increased then by 310%, canned meat by 192%, soap increased by 192% compared to average sales in February. Among alcohol, beer and vodka grew quite calmly, by 11 and 19% respectively, while the spirit jumped by 567%.
The next week, the panic faded to bring a change in needs in the last week of March (March 23-29). Customers are less and less shopping - it can be seen from the falling number of receipts - but when they leave safe homes, they buy more fresh food. And so, the shopping basket for dairy products increased the most, customers bought it by 31% on average more than in February, when buying soap they bought it by 25% more and 20% more bakery products. Here, baking ingredients reign: yeast recorded sales increase by as much as 110%, and flour sales increased by 47% and customers buy it 17.3% more often.
However, analysts emphasize the importance of the fact that consumers have returned to close small stores for more and more diverse purchases, which is a reversal of the trend of recent years, when Poles went to discount stores for large food purchases. - This means that consumers rely much more on close-by shops, and if the crisis continues, this trend may change buyers' habits at all - comments Tomasz Jasinkiewicz, vice president of Comp Platform Services.
Similar conclusions can be drawn from Nielsen's research. Although the value of basket sales decreased by 8% on an annual basis, it increased from 12th to 13th week by 8%. During this time, online sales jumped by as much as 23%, and cosmetics lost the most.
- Downward trend may reverse the upcoming Easter holidays. We stay at home, cook and bake bread more often, which is confirmed by, among others increase in yeast sales by several hundred percent - says Ewa Rybołowicz, director of cooperation with commercial networks of Nielsen Connect.
Difficult situation in the soft fruit sector in Poland
Corona crisis seems to be the first topic everywhere, but it is not the only problem for the Polish soft fruit sector. Definitely corona caused major problems with employees working normally on fields. Many Ukraine’s decided to go back home and stay there until the risk of the disease is over or will lower down. They made the decision within a day after the Ukrainian government decided to close the borders on 28 of March. Considering the fact that the biggest soft fruit valley in Poland is located in Lubelskie region, so right next to the border with Ukraine, employees disappeared almost within a day from the region.
Another big problem is the weather: the winter this season was extremely mild in the whole Europe. This means that many plants started their vegetation already. The first leaves appeared on strawberry fields in Poland so the season will start really fast this year. This however is a problem for farmers as they don’t know wheatear to take out the protection against frost and let the plants grow. In case of light frost the flower buds on the plant will freeze and plans won’t give any fruit anymore.
But even if frost won’t be harmful for the plants still the drought might cause problems in availability of fruits. There is no even a memory after rains in February which moistured soils and gave hope to Polish farmers for a good season. Fields are dry and the weather forecast does not announce any changes for now in this matter.
The last problem are the limitations in transport of goods, not even the harvested fruit but plant production products and fertilizers and it’s prices that might have change due to eur /pln exchange rate. And next to the price of those products, Polish producers are hesitating to buy them at all as if they won’t have employees to work on the field all the investment will be lost anyway.
One is known for sure: all the uncertainty will be visible in the prices and paid by the consumer at the end.
LAN-WAR own report-AM
Polish export of agricultural products in 2019
According to Polish Office for Statistics in 2019 the total value of Polish export grew with 5,5% and reached 235,8bln eur. The share of agricultural goods in the export was 13,3% which means it stayed at the same level as in 2018.
The value of Polish agricultural products exported abroad was 31 447bln eur which means it grew with 5,8%. The main export destination are the countries of European Union and the export to the EU grew with 4,3% to the value of 25 596 mln eur.
Like in previous years the main export destination for Polish products is Germany where Poland exported agricultural goods for 7 567 mln eur and increased the export value with 5,4%. This amount makes 24% of the total value of agricultural products exported abroad. The second destination was Great Britain with value 2 788mln eur.
On the third position was the Netherlands with the total export value 1 988mln eur. It is a decrease with 0,8% compared to 2018 when the value was 2 005mln eur. Poland exported mainly cigarettes (ca. 26% of the agri export), poultry meat (10%) chocolate and coco products, beef and fruit juices (mainly apple juice).