Poland is an important strawberry producer, but it also imports them: experts

Despite the fact that Poland is a global strawberry producer and exporter, it still imports them, the Polish Economic Institute (PIE) pointed out in an analysis published on Thursday. Mostly fresh, dessert strawberries are imported.

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Strawberry harvest ranging from 175,000 to 205,000 tonnes makes Poland the second producer in the EU after Spain and the ninth in the world. Most of the harvest is meant for export. Mostly industrial fruits are exported, while Polish dessert fruits are meant for Polish consumers.

“Even though Poland is a global leader and exporter of strawberries, it also imports them,” PIE wrote in its weekly magazine. In 2020, the value of strawberries and their preserves imported to Poland summed up to EUR 74.1 mln.

Analysts noted primarily fresh dessert fruits are imported. The import of these products occurs periodically. It happens throughout the whole year;, however, most of the products are important right before the harvest season in Poland. In 2020, fresh fruit at the value of EUR 34.2 mln wasere bought from abroad - the most from Spain (54 percent of deliveries), Greece (17.3 percent) and Germany (14.3 percent)

In turn, the value of Polish exports of fresh, frozen strawberries and their robust preserves in 2020 was worth EUR 174 mln. As noted by analysts based on Statistics Poland (GUS) data, frozen strawberries were the number one export product. Their value added up to EUR 137.8 mln, which gave 13.1 percent of the world’s export. Poland is the world’s export after Mexico. In 2017-2019 Poland was even the world’s leader.

“Polish frozen fruit found their way to 54 countries around the world,” they noted. The main recipients were countries, including Germany (35 percent of all Polish exports in this category), the Netherlands (14 percent) and France (8.8 percent). In turn, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and the UK were among the biggest non-EU importers of Polish frozen strawberries. Polish strawberries are also exported to Austria, China, Japan and the US.”

Analysts pointed out that strawberry preserves are the second most exported strawberry, with their exports in 2020 reaching EUR 22.8 mln. The export of fresh strawberries was smaller (EUR 13.4 mln in 2020), and mostly Belarusians, Czechs and Germans purchased them.