Polish trade continues to grow
Polish imports and exports of pork both increased in early 2015, with live pig imports also rising further.
Polish pork exports increased 8% in the first quarter of the year after falls last year driven by the import bans imposed by Russia and several Asian markets, following outbreaks of African Swine Fever in the country. A year on from the bans, Polish exports have increased back to levels similar to those in January-March 2013. Exports to non-EU markets were less than half their level in 2013 as Polish pork is excluded from China, Japan and Korea, among others, as well as Russia and its neighbours. Therefore, the increase came from shipments to other EU countries as exporters looked to replace the lost markets. Volumes going to Italy, Germany and Slovakia, the three largest export markets, were up by 22%, 32% and 8% respectively. However, the value of shipments fell by 4% compared to 2014.
Pork imports to Poland were also up in the first quarter of the year, with volumes coming into the country increasing by 9% compared to the same period in 2014. This rise comes despite an increase in domestic production during the same period, suggesting some recovery in demand for pig meat within Poland. The majority of the growth came from Belgium, from where imports increased by 20%, moving it above Germany to be Poland’s largest supplier of pork. Gains were also seen from other major suppliers. The overall value of imports increased by 1% to €303 million, despite lower unit prices.
Live pig imports continued to increase in the first three months of the year. Numbers reached 1.4 million, up 12% on the year. Most of this increase came from Denmark, with weaner shipments up by more than a third on the year. Numbers coming from Germany actually fell, with the largest decrease coming in pigs for slaughter.