Poland exports 80 percent of beef products - industry association

The Polish Association of Beef Cattle Breeders' president, Jerzy Wierzbicki, has told PAP that Poland exports 80 percent of its beef products and that exports are vital to the industry's profitability.

According to the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, in 2017 the export of live beef cattle, meat, offal and beef products stood at 473,000 tonnes, 10 percent up on 2016. Their value was EUR 1.58 billion, up 18.2 percent on a year earlier. It is estimated that in 2018 exports may be at the level of 490,000 tonnes.

In the first half of 2018, exports amounted to 236,000 tonnes, or 4.9 percent higher than in the same period of 2017.

Poland sends abroad primarily chilled and frozen meat (in 2018 the figure was 420,000 tonnes, constituting 67 percent of export volume). According to Ministry of Agriculture statistics, in the first 11 months of 2018, 235,500 tonnes of chilled meat was exported to a value of EUR 893 million, with 67 tonnes of frozen meat sent abroad, worth EUR 343 million.

The main market in 2018 was the European Union, which accounted for more than 80 percent of exports. The biggest importers of Polish beef are: Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Great Britain and France.

Prof. Andrzej Kowalski, director of the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, believes the sector's success is "undoubted." Since joining the EU, beef production has grown and the quality of meat has improved. "We have got used to information on the subject of very good results in the trade of poultry, and at the same time the export of beef is comparable to the export of chickens," Kowalski commented.

Beef exports are essential as consumption of the meat in Poland is not high, oscillating at around 2-3 kg per person annually.