General Food

Polish products on the international tables

Thursday, 29 September, 2011
In 2010, the condition of the Polish economy still looked relatively good compared to other European Union countries. GDP growth over the previous year reached 3.8% and in the last quarter it is estimated that it was as high as 4.3%. Despite the periodic effects of the crisis in Greece and the dire situation in several other EU countries, an appreciation of the zloty was recorded last year. Deterioration of the balance in foreign trade should be regarded as a less favourable development. According to preliminary GUS data, in 2010, the value of exports (at current prices) amounted to €117.4 billion, which is an increase of 19.5% over the previous year, while imports reached €130.9 billion, or 21.7% more the previous year. Thus, the trade deficit amounted to €13.5 billion, or €4.2 billion more than in 2009.

The Commodity Structure of the Food & Agricultural Trade

An increase in the positive balance of the Polish food & agricultural trade in 2010 was primarily due to the improved trade balance of processed products of both vegetable and animal origin. An improvement in economic conditions in foreign markets resulted in a significant increase in the export value of red meat, poultry and poultry products, butter, milk and dairy products, fish and fish products, fruit and vegetable products, confectionery, alcohol products and cigarettes among others. In the sugar trade reverse tendencies occurred in 2009. As a result of an excess production of sugar, the export amount increased significantly. Increased exports of pork and beef resulted in a positive balance for the red meat trade for the first time since 2007. Despite the improving market situation, Poland remained a net importer of pork. The positive balance traditionally occurred in the case of livestock, despite a significant decline in exports. As in previous years, a trade deficit remained within the following groups: fish and shellfish, seeds and oilseed crush, feed and feed components, vegetable oils, fresh fruit, grain mill products, starches, coffee, tea and spices, as well as alcohol products. As a result of a significant fall in exports, the trade balance in the cereals trade worsened, but its financial position remained positive.


Polish food & agricultural exports in 2010 were dominated by low-processed products making up 59% of its value. Next were highly-processed goods at 24%, and unprocessed goods at 17%. The value of low-processed goods exports increased by 21%, and highly-processed goods by 18%. Shipments of unprocessed goods decreased by 2%. The largest share in exports were represented by vegetable-based products, which accounted for 42%. Animal products accounted for 39% and other products for 19%. In the animal products section last year, improvement in the trade balance of red meat occurred due to an increase in exports of 26%. This includes pork, which improved twofold, beef by 23%, and horsemeat by 7%. Only sales of sheep and goat meat (-1%) slightly decreased. Thanks to increased exports, the balance in the red meat trade in 2010 was positive for the first time since 2007. In 2010, the proceeds from the sales of the following were higher than a year before: poultry meat (+22%), meat products (+20%), dairy products (+27%) as well as fish and milk (+25%). Exports of butter increased twofold. The value of shipments of live animals abroad decreased by 22%, with cattle and poultry decreasing the most (-24%). In addition, the value of Polish egg exports was lower than the previous year (-4%). In the vegetable section, as in previous years, the most important part in the export of goods was played by confectionery, where the value of exports in 2010 increased by 15%. In the group of processed products, revenues from the sale of the following also increased: sugar and molasses (+54%), vegetable oils and fats (+24%), sauces, soups and thickeners (+21%), components of feed (+15%) and processed fruit and vegetables (+10%). In the vegetable materials group, there was a significant decline in the value of cereal exports (-30%), mainly with regard to wheat. However, the value of potato shipments (+70%), rape seed (+9%), fresh vegetables (+19%) and fruit (+1%) increased. Cigarettes were ranked highest in the other products section, and were also the highest value commodity amongst all other food & agricultural exports. Their value of shipments increased during the year by 10%. After several years of decline, revenues from the export of spirits and beer increased significantly last year (39%). The value of shipments of protein concentrates and syrups (+22%) was also higher than in 2009.


The Import of food & agricultural products to Poland in 2010 has traditionally been dominated by low-processed products (48% of the value of deliveries). Unprocessed articles made up a 33% share of purchases, and highly-processed accounted for 19%. During the year the value of low-processed product supplies rose by 14%, unprocessed supplies rose by 19% and highly-processed supplies by 11%. Vegetable products accounted for over half of all food & agricultural purchases.
These comprised mainly fruit and vegetable products and processed fruit and vegetables (20%), oilseeds and oilseed processed products (13%) as well as sugar and confectionery (10%). Last year the cost of supply of vegetable products increased by 14%, as compared with 2009. Within the entire section only expenditure on sugar and molasses (-10%) and oil seeds (-1%) declined. The value of purchases of the following products increased considerably: potatoes (+55%), fresh vegetables (+30%), fruit and vegetable processed products (+28%), vegetable oils and fats (+21%), cereals (18%), oilseed crush, feed components and feed (+18%) and confectionery (+14%). The animal products section last year accounted for 29% of the value of imports of the whole food & agricultural sector. Pork was again the food & agricultural product with the highest value of purchases on foreign markets. However, in comparison with 2009, imports increased only minimally (+0.8%). The balance of foreign trade in pork is still negative, despite a significant increase in exports in 2010. Similarly, more beef was imported than in 2009 (+44%). Despite this, the balance of trade in this type of meat remains positive. Expenditure on poultry meat decreased by 14%, and the positive balance of trade in poultry strengthened. However, the negative balance of trade in fish and processed fish products increased as a result of a rise in imports of one third. In the livestock group the most important import item is pigs, but the value of purchases of these animals decreased. The value of cattle supplies nearly doubled. Although the import of dairy products developed last year at approximately the same pace as exports (an increase of one third), the positive balance of foreign trade in this sector expanded, due to a threefold decrease in the value of imports compared to exports. In the section of other products, the largest share of the value of imports (41%) has traditionally been taken by coffee, tea, cocoa and spices. In relation to last year, expenditure on these products increased by 21% and the negative balance rose by a factor of one and a half. The value of purchases of tobacco and tobacco products (mainly unprocessed tobacco for the production of cigarettes) again increased significantly (about one-third). Within the group of alcohol and alcoholic beverages a trade deficit persists. However, due to a weaker pace of imports (+14%) compared with exports (+39%), the balance improved.

Geographical Structure of the Food & Agricultural Trade

In 2010 the trade balance of food & agricultural products was just as positive as it had been for several years and in value terms amounted to €2.57 billion against €2.20 billion in 2009, which is a +15% increase. Thus, in the past year the value of exported agricultural products achieved a considerable value (about 14% more) – €13.268 billion against €11.499 billion a year earlier. Similarly, the value of imports also increased – a total of €10.693 billion against €9.299 billion in the previous year, which is also an increase of exactly 14%. European Union countries have for many years been the most important trading partners of Poland’s food & agricultural products and in 2010 it was the same. Last year, the community’s position as the main market for Polish food and agricultural commodities increased slightly, as did the EU’s position as the most important supplier to Poland. The balance of food & agricultural product trade with the EU grew by almost 13% due to a higher growth of imports and exports to the EU-27 countries. In 2010, food & agricultural products were sold to the EU for almost €10.5 billion. This accounted for a share of up to 79% of the Polish food & agricultural export industry (59% of sales were to the countries of the ‘old’ EU-15 and 20% of the ‘new’ EU-12, i.e. to the other 11 countries that joined the group in 2004 and 2007). As mentioned previously, last year we once again achieved a positive food & agricultural industry trade balance with the EU. It amounted to €3.18 billion and was 13% higher than in 2009. Improvement of the balance was due to an increase in both the value of exports (+12%) and food & agricultural imports from this group (+11%). During this period, goods worth about €7.3 billion were brought to Poland from all the community’s countries. This amounted to a 68% share in Polish food & agricultural imports. The value of imported food & agricultural products from the EU-15 accounted for 58% of the total value of imports of these products last year. From the EU-12 it amounted to 10%. As far as the community countries are concerned, food sales to the new EU-12 countries amounted to over 8% more than the previous year at €2.67 billion. The value of imported products from this area exceeded €1.0 billion and was also higher than that of the previous year by 12%. A similar situation held with regard to food imported from the 15 Union countries – in this period it increased by 11% to €6.25 billion. However, as far as food & agricultural products exported to this group are concerned, the value of exports amounted to nearly €7.8 billion, or +13%. The balance of trade for the EU-15 countries was positive and amounted to – €1.53 billion against €1.23 billion a year earlier. For the countries of the EU 12 the balance amounted to €1.64 billion against €1.56 billion a year earlier. In the past year we sent fewer food & agricultural products to the community. However, higher export prices than last year were reported and the decline in supplies concerned only the group of the 15 ‘Union’ countries, while for the remaining 11 Member States we sent exactly the same quantity of goods as before. As far as last year’s import of foodstuffs is concerned, we imported from EU countries more than in 2009, and the growth above all concerned the volume of imports from the EU-15. In terms of value, Polish traditionally processed vegetable products were sent to all EU markets in the amount of €3.23 billion, which amounted to a 30% share of the total value of food & agricultural exports to EU countries while processed products of animal origin accounted for a 28% share (€3.01 billion). In total we exported to the EU market live animals, processed meat products as well as vegetable material and processed vegetable products with a value of €8.4 billion. The most important positions in the vegetable export sector were confectionery (almost 11%), processed fruit (7%), fresh fruits and mushrooms, as well as fresh vegetables and processed vegetables (about 4% each). As far as products of animal origin are concerned, red meat and offal were dominant with a 10% share, and poultry meat and offal with more than a 6% share, as well as milk, cream and ice cream with 5%. Tobacco products were important items in exports (10%). In terms of value, processed vegetable products dominated EU imports of agri-food with a 32% share, of which confectionary accounted for the largest share (8%) and fresh fruit the next largest (6%). Red meat and offal, which accounted for about 15%, made up the largest quantity in last year’s imports of processed animal products. In addition to that, the import of coffee, cocoa, tea and spices – 7%, were also of considerable importance.

The main recipient of Polish food & agricultural products on the EU market has for many years been Germany. In 2010 the country purchased Polish products for approximately €2.97 billion, which accounted for 22% of Polish food & agricultural exports and 28% of total exports to all EU countries. In 2009 by comparison, the value of goods delivered there reached €2.62 billion (a 13% increase in value). As in every year, Polish processed vegetable and livestock products were mainly sent in this direction.

We achieved the highest revenue from exports of confectionery, processed fruit and vegetables, cereals and poultry as well as red meat and offal. Milk, cream and ice cream were significant items.
The second largest export market value was, for the second year in a row, the United Kingdom with a sum of €923.0 million and a 7% share in the Polish food & agricultural exports, and 8% for exports to EU countries. In the previous year, the value of food & agricultural products exported to the UK was €797.0 million (16% increase in value). The British imported mainly confectionery and processed meat products from Poland, as well as processed fruit products, fresh vegetables, poultry along with offal, and fish and processed fish products.

The next five main recipients of Polish food & agricultural products among the EU countries were the Czech Republic with a 6% share in Polish exports (€850.0 million), followed by France (6%, and €793.0 million) and Italy (5% and €762.0 million). In terms of value, the highest growth rate of exports from all countries of the EU-27 was recorded by France, with a 35% increase in the value of food & agricultural goods imported from Poland. Slovakia came next with a 25% increase. Next were Belgium (23%) and Portugal (21%). The biggest drop in the value of imported Polish products concerned only three countries last year – Slovenia – by 16%, Greece by 9% and 4% in Spain.

After European Union countries, the second group to which we deliver the largest amounts of food & agricultural products in terms of value is the Commonwealth of Independent States. In 2010, sales to CIS countries increased in terms of value by 36% per year, and the share in the Polish food & agricultural exports in total amounted to 10%. The value of exported products to CIS countries totalled €1.37 billion against €1.01 billion a year earlier. The largest recipients of Polish products from eastern markets include first and foremost Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. In 2010, Russia again increased the value of Polish imports by over 34% to more than €752.0 million – becoming for Poland at the same time the sixth most important receiver of goods, just following the top five recipients of food & agricultural products in terms of value. The most important item in supplies to this country turned out to be fresh fruit (19% share in total exports), in particular apples, as well as confectionery, processed fruit and vegetables as well as cheese and cottage cheese and red meat and offal. Overall, Russia’s share in exports in terms of value amounted to almost 55% as far as deliveries to the east are concerned, and 7% in the total of Polish exports of food & agricultural products. In the past year we sent goods to Ukraine for a sum roughly 12% higher than the previous year – €354.0 million, while exports to Belarus increased by a record 100%, to almost €160.0 million. The greatest export we sent to Ukraine was fresh and red meat, feed and feed components, as well as confectionery, coffee, cocoa, tea and spices. By contrast, export to Belarus was dominated by supplies of red meat and offal, as well as fresh fruit, feed and processed vegetable products.

Further groups belonging to the major importers of food & agricultural products from Poland are NAFTA countries and EU candidate countries. As far as the first of these countries are concerned – the United States and Canada – last year’s export value is more than €285.0 million, i.e. an increase of almost 10% more than the previous year. Exports to these places are about 2% in terms of the value of Polish exports of food & agricultural products. The United States receives the largest share in exports to NAFTA countries – more than €235.0 million. In 2010 the US imported from Poland mainly products such as fish, crustaceans and processed fish products, starch, grits and malt as well as alcohol, processed meat products and confectionery.

In the past year the importance of a trading partner in the form of a group of countries bidding to be accepted into the structure of the EU increased significantly. This increase concerned both the value of exported Polish agricultural products and those imported. In total, the value of food & agricultural products delivered to Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia exceeded €286.0 million and was higher than the previous year’s value by as much as 75%. Shipping to these countries accounted for 2% of last year’s Polish export total. The key recipient here was Turkey with a share of 73% of the total supply for this group. To Turkey we exported primarily red meat and offal, as well as tobacco and confectionery.

For many years the most important exporters of food & agricultural products to Poland have been the countries of the European Union, with last year’s value of imports at €7.27 billion, giving a 68% share in total imports of these products into the country. The largest amounts are delivered by the ‘Union’ 15 countries – a 58% share in terms of the value of total imports to Poland. The value of imports was €6.25 billion against €5.58 billion a year earlier. The remaining quantities of food & agricultural products with a share of 10% were the imports from the new Member States – the value of imports was €1.02 billion against €905.0 million in 2009. New Member states are major suppliers of processed vegetable products and raw materials to Poland, including cereals, which account for a 14% share of imports from the EU in total, starch, grits and malt (about 12% share) and confectionery, milk, cream and ice cream as well as oil seeds. As far as imported food & agricultural products from the ‘Union’ 15 countries are concerned, red meat and offal are dominant (18% share in imports from all countries of the Community). The next few places are occupied by confectionery and fresh fruit, coffee, cocoa, tea and spices, oils and vegetable fats, fresh vegetables, feeds and alcohol as well as alcoholic beverages. For years Germany has been, not only the most important customer, but also a provider of food & agricultural products to Poland (currently almost 21% in the structure of food & agricultural Polish imports and 32% in imports from EU countries alone). In 2010, the value of products imported from Germany increased by 12% to €2.31 billion, against €2.07 billion in 2009. Last year, the most important commodity imported from Germany to Poland was red meat and its offal, mostly pork (19% of the value of imports from that country). Moreover, confectionery (almost 14% in of the value of deliveries) and animal feed, oils and vegetable fats (about 6%).

In 2010, as in previous years, the Netherlands was the second biggest market in food & agricultural product supplies to Poland, where the goods were purchased for approximately €941.0 million against over €820.0 million the previous year. The commodity supplies structure was dominated, as always, by flowers (29% share), red meat and offal (13%), followed by coffee, cocoa and spices as well as oils and vegetable fats. Third place in terms of supply of food & agricultural products to Poland in 2010, was held by Spain, which traditionally supplies the Polish market with fresh horticultural products (65% of the value of imports from that country). In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables, we eagerly import red meat and processed vegetables from Spain. The next places in the top exporters to the Polish market were taken by Denmark and Italy. Supplies from Denmark were dominated by red meat and offal as well as fish and fish products, while from Italy we imported above all confectionery, fresh fruit as well as alcohol and alcoholic beverages.

As far as imports from all EU member states are concerned, we recorded an increase in the value of imports with the exception of Finland, where we recorded a 12% decline in value. The largest increases in the value of imported food & agricultural products during the reported period last year were recorded in purchases from Sweden – +57%, Latvia – +55%, and approximately 46% from Romania, 44% from Estonia and 30% from both Lithuania and Ireland.

The sixth supplier in terms of value on the Polish market last year was Norway, which increased the value of products delivered to our market by more than half. The value rose from €332.0 million to almost €504.0 million in 2010. In fact, fish and crustaceans comprised 100% of the value of imported goods. In 2010 the seventh in the world supply market of food & agricultural products to Poland, and the first outside Europe, was Argentina. Food & agricultural trade with this country made up the largest deficit (nearly €493 million). The value of imported products from Argentina exceeded €456.0 million. Soybean crush, an essential component in the production of industrial feeds, comprised Just over 80% of the value of imports from this country. Other than this, Poland imported oleaginous seeds, as well as fresh fruit, fish and shellfish.

Grain and Processed Products

In 2010, the Polish trade balance in cereals and cereal processing products was worse than that of the previous year. It fell from €498 million to €383 million. The value of exports amounted to €1,077.7 million and imports €694.2 million. In the period under consideration the change in the trade balance was mainly connected with a decrease in grain exports, the value of which declined from €423 million to €296 million, and the volume - from 3,152 thousand tons to 1,927 thousand tons.

Red Meat

In 2010, the value of Polish trade turnover in livestock, meat, processed meat products and animal fats and flours showed an increase of approximately 12% over the previous year. The positive balance of trade in these goods increased by €464.5 million to €1.24 billion. Red meat and offal was of paramount importance here. The turnover of this group of goods amounted to approximately €2.53 billion, which means it was nearly 14% higher than in 2009. The volume of trade in processed meat was at the level of €546.7 million, or about 18% higher than the year before. The main recipient of these products from Poland was the European Union, the United States and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).


In 2010 the positive balance in Polish foreign trade in livestock, meat, and poultry offal amounted to over €693 million. Compared with 2009, it increased by almost a quarter due to the significant growth of export revenues. The revitalisation of Polish exports of poultry after a significant decline in the previous year is mainly the effect of an economic upturn in output markets. The sales volume increased even more than the value, because prices in the export of poultry decreased by 4% to €1.84/kg. Lower transaction prices are mainly the result of changes in the trade and geographical structure of Polish poultry exports. EU Member States remain Poland’s most important trading partner. However, sales of less expensive poultry items to non-EU countries, mainly to Hong Kong, rose. The average representative prices of broiler chickens in the EU-27 countries in 2010 increased slightly (only about 1%. ) against 2009. According to GUS [The Polish Central Statistical Office] data, the industrial production of poultry meat in Poland in 2010 amounted to 1,368 thousand tons and was over 12% higher than the level in 2009. Poultry exports last year accounted for approximately 29% of domestic production, which indicates a large dependence of the poultry industry in Poland on the export market. Promotional activities undertaken with financial support from the fund for poultry meat promotion encourage the development of sales abroad.


In 2010 the positive balance in the foreign trade of eggs and processed egg products worsened by 4% to €119.7 million. During the year, egg sector sales decreased by 4%, while processed egg products’ import value to Poland rose by as much as 40%. The main trading partners, both in exports and imports have traditionally been European Union Member States. In 2010, a decline in prices occurred, and the profitability of egg production in the EU decreased. The market surplus after a period of prosperity in the egg trade in 2008 had a depreciating effect on prices in 2009 and in early 2010, when prices increased significantly. Year-on-year, the share of exports of eggs in Poland is increasing and is now about one-third of total production making it the main driver of export development, as domestic consumption increases slightly. The increase in imports of processed eggs to Poland in 2010 was influenced by the price difference between the Polish market and some other EU countries.

Dairy Products

2010 showed a clear revival of the dairy trade. The value of exports in each month was higher than in 2009, and in some cases it even exceeded 2008, which was a record year. Greater growth in the second and third quarter (+43% versus +9% in the first quarter) was largely due to the relatively rapid and significant decline in the value of the zloty against the euro and the dollar, which improved the competitiveness of exports. During this period, a significant improvement in economic conditions prevailed on the EU dairy market (the main destination of Polish exports of dairy products), as well as international markets. The purchase price of milk and dairy product prices surged, global demand was constantly improving, and the European Union in almost all sectors of dairy products (except PMP) recorded large export gains in comparison with major competitors – New Zealand and Australia. Also, Polish dairy products were sold at much higher prices, as evidenced by a slight decrease in export volume with a clear increase in value. In total, in FY 2010, €1,176.7 million was obtained from the sale of dairy products, which was over 1 / 4 more than in 2009. In dollar terms this was $1,554.5 million (+21%). Dairy imports grew at the same rate as exports and amounted to €273.3 million ($483.4 million). Clearly, the positive trade balance increased - from €655 to €813.2 million ($1071.2 million). The most important export item remained cheese and cottage cheese, whose exports rose by over 17% (a 3.8% rise in volume). As a result of a weaker growth rate, however, their role in the export of dairy products declined and their contribution in terms of value in dairy exports fell to 37% compared with 40.2% in 2009. The second place was still occupied by milk powder, mainly skimmed (SMP), whose exports, despite an 11% drop in tonnage, achieved revenues of about 29% higher than a year earlier. Also, the volume of liquid milk and cream sent abroad was less than the previous year, but the revenues from this account increased. The export value of yogurt, kefir, and similar products increased by about 20% (volume by 16.6%) and reached the highest level in their history. A high growth rate was recorded in the sales value of whey, although the amounts sold were similar to those of 2009. Decidedly the largest increases were recorded in exports of butter – its tonnage increased by almost a half (47%), and the value was two times higher than in 2009. Ice cream products were also exported in larger quantities than in 2009. The value of exports of these products in 2010 was higher than a year earlier by 21% at a 16% volume growth. A rise in ice cream exports occurred in the second half of the year. During the first 6 months of 2010 they were sold for 5% less than the previous year. The dairy export growth rate was much higher than the growth rate of the total exports of food & agricultural products (+27% at a 15.4% rise in exports of food & agricultural products), which increased the role of dairy products in the total of all exports ( a share of 9% against 8% last year).

Sugar, Sugar Products and Confectionery

In 2010 there was a radical change in the results of foreign trade in sugar. Surplus production and record high prices around the world resulted in a sudden increase in sugar exports and a marked reduction in imports. The export of molasses significantly increased, while its imports declined. Therefore, the positive balance in trade in sugar and sugar based confectionery products clearly improved, reaching a large surplus in terms of turnover volume. As far as confectionery is concerned, a high growth rate of exports has been maintained due to higher exports of products containing cocoa. Above all, thanks to the aforementioned reversal of the trend in the sugar and molasses trade, the structure of the entire group of trade in goods described in this section also changed.

With regard to the Polish foreign trade turnover of sugar, other sugars, molasses and sugar confectionery, a positive balance in terms of both value and quantity was recorded in 2010. The increase of export volume, which resulted in a surplus, is worth mentioning in particular, because in 2009 the balance in terms of volume symbolically exceeded zero. In terms of value, the surplus of exports over imports amounted to €461 million compared to €292.9 million in 2009 and €342.2 million two years earlier. The positive balance in 2010 increased by 57% (€168.2 million).

In the commodity structure of exports of sugar and confectionery products, the share of sugar confectionery significantly decreased (from 1/3 to 1/4), while molasses slightly decreased (to nearly 1/4). The importance of sugar clearly increased, which accounted for nearly half of exports to 1/3 in the previous year. In imports, the increase in purchases of other sugars has been marked (about 6 pp. up to 36%), while the share of sugar decreased by 7 pp. to 37%, the share of molasses also fell noticeably. However, the share of sweets rose nearly to 1/4.

The most valuable item in both exports and imports was once again confectionery (79% of the value of exports and 68% in imports), including cocoa confectionery (63% of the value of exports and 50% of imports). For the first time the value of exports of sugar and confectionery products exceeded €1 billion.

The share of imports of sugar and confectionery products in the trade of food & agricultural products in 2010 was stable. However, as far as exports are concerned, a noticeable increase in terms of volume was recorded, but the growth rate of their value was minimal.

In total, in 2010, 793.3 thousand tons of products covered by the above commodity group were exported, for which €1,039.2 million was received (in 2009, 562.2 thousand tons worth €825.9 million), while imports amounted to 540.7 thousand tons, and their value was in the amount of €578.1 million (in 2009, 554.4 thousand tons and €533.1 million). The value of exports rose by as much as 1/4, while imports rose by 8%. The volume of exports of goods discussed in this chapter was greater by as much as 41%, while imports decreased by 2% when compared to the year before. Therefore, in terms of volume, trade turnover in this product group finally achieved a positive balance of 252.6 thousand tons against 7.7 thousand tons of minimum surplus a year earlier.

Confectionery Products

Sweets (sugar confectionery containing cocoa and without cocoa – CN 1806 and 1704) were the most valuable item in both exports and imports of sugar and confectionery products. In 2010, their exports increased by 12% to 203.9 thousand tons, and its value increased by 1/5 to €818.5 million.
At the same time, imports were higher by 11%, increasing to 124.7 thousand tons, while the value of imported sweets increased by 1/5 and amounted to €393.4 million. The positive trade balance amounted to €425.1 million (more by 1/5) and 79.3 thousand tons (+12%). In terms of quantity, export of confectionery without cocoa declined noticeably. As far as trade in chocolate products are concerned, an increase in both imports and exports was noted.

In terms of volume, over 2/3 of confectionery imports were chocolate products. In terms of value their share was even higher and amounted in 2010 to almost 3/4. Concerning exports, chocolate confectionery accounted for 3/4 of their volume and 80% of the value.

In this period, the volume of exported goods with 1704 and 1806 CN codes accounted for 25.7% of the amount (32.5% the year before) and 78.8% of the value (82.7% the year before) of exports of the group of goods including sugar, sugar industry products and confectionery. The export of food & agricultural products including sweets accounted for 1.7% in total quantitatively (1.4% in 2009) and 6.2% of its value (5.9% in the previous year).

The share of confectionery products in the import of the group of goods including sugar, products of the sugar industry and confectionery amounted to 23.1% in terms of volume (20.2% last year) and 68.1% in terms of value (61.6% in 2009). The import of other confectionery products was 0.7% of the share (also 0.7% the year before) of the import of food & agricultural products in terms of quantity and 3.7% in terms of value (3.5% last year).

The decline of confectionery products’ share in the export of sugar and confectionery products was the result of a sudden increase in sugar exports. While a larger share of sugar and confectionery products in imports is the result of the limiting of imports of sugar and molasses.


Stimulants are of great importance in the Polish food & agricultural trade. The year 2010 brought confirmation of qualitative change, signalled in 2008: the value of exports of this group of goods is still higher than that of imports, while the import growth rate was greater than the export growth rate.

Last year, stimulants were sent abroad for almost €2.01 billion, which meant a 13% increase against 2009 (in terms of the dollar this was $2.66 billion, +7.8%). The growth rate was therefore generally weaker than for exports of food (+15.4%), and thus the share of exports of stimulants in total food & agricultural exports in the present time decreased from 15.5% to 15.1%. However, sales abroad of goods from this group were still more than two thirds higher than the export of e.g. dairy products, which since the moment of accession to the EU was regarded as one of the flywheels of trade.
The import of stimulants last year was almost 21% higher than a year earlier and amounted to €1.782 billion ($2.364 billion). With the 15% of the growth rate of the entire food & agricultural imports this meant a slight relative increase in the importance of stimulants in food imports (from 15.8% to 16.7%).

The decisive factor in Poland’s exporting more stimulants than it imports, is the export of tobacco and tobacco products (in the vast majority of cases – of cigarettes) which grows year by year. Nearly 60% of export revenues are already received from sales of such stimulants. The growth rate of this sub-group was a decisive factor in the total export growth rate of stimulants (+12% in the European currency).

The importance of other groups of stimulants also grew, with the exception of water and soft drinks, whose exports against 2009 remained stable. Despite the 7% growth in exports, the sector of coffee, tea, extracts, cocoa and spices was also less important. 18.5% of total proceeds from sales of stimulants were obtained from their export in 2010. In this subgroup, extracts of coffee and tea, and coffee beans are the most important items, while less important items are tea and cocoa products as well as spices (especially pepper). Since Poland, for geographical reasons, is predisposed to import these goods, the trade balance is decidedly negative. Quite unexpectedly, after years of decline (by almost 40%) the export of alcohol sharply increased, especially as far as spirits and beer are concerned. In the wake of this, their importance increased, and as a result of a weaker pace of imports, the balance of trade has improved slightly.

In imports, the most important products are invariably those from the group of coffee, tea extracts, cocoa products and spices. In the previous year, nearly half of the amount spent on the purchase of all stimulants was accounted for by such products. In addition, imports increased by 21% compared to the previous year. The Import of tobacco and tobacco products increased by 33%, and by 14% respectively as compared with the value of imports of alcoholic beverages. Purchases of mineral waters and soft drinks increased by about 9%, which products have, however, a negligible share in the total value of imports of stimulants.

Study based on a FAMMU/FAPA report, A Group Monitoring Foreign Agricultural Markets  - April 2011.

tagi: polish product, food from poland,