Among all European Union countries, Poland is one of the largest producers of grain and cereals and the largest producer of triticale in the world. In 2020, it was ranked 3rd after France and Germany in terms of harvested crops.
Grain and cereal products are of strategic importance in the whole world economy, also in Poland. They are essential ingredients of food; they are used in distilling, brewing, milling, and industrial, energy, and pharmaceutical sectors.
Cereals can be divided according to the type of grain – industrial (consumption) and feed grains. In the case of the former, these are products that are used in the production of bread, beer, flour, groats, or vodka. Feed grains are those intended for fodder and made of maize, barley, oats, etc.
In this market review, we check how the grain and cereal market in Poland is developing – including harvests, prices, and the cultivation areas.
According to the estimates of Statistics Poland, in 2020, the total cereal harvests in Poland amounted to 33.5 million tons (which is 16% more than in the previous year). Thus, Poland became one of the largest grain producers among the European Union countries, taking third place.
The production of the winter wheat variety amounted to 10.3 million tons, which is 8% more than in the previous year, and the spring variety – 1.8 million tons, i.e. 20% more. The triticale harvest was much higher than in the previous year (an increase by 13% from 4.6 to 5.2 million tons), placing Poland in first place in the world. The production of winter barley amounted to 1.1 million tons and was more than two times lower (as in previous years) than the production of spring barley – 2.7 million tons. The oat harvest amounted to 1.6 million tons.
The cultivated area in Poland in 2019 amounted to 7,891.4 thousand hectares (more than in 2010-2018, when this value was 7.5-7.8 million hectares). The increase in crops is observed for each type of grain. In the case of wheat, this area was approx. 2.5 million hectares (approx. 1% more than in the previous year). For cereal mixtures, the cultivation area increased by almost 7% (1.0 million hectares). In the case of rye, the cultivation area increased by 4%. The cultivation of rape and turnip rape took 0.9 million hectares (increase by 4%), and oats – 0.5 million hectares (increase by 8%). A decrease was observed only in barley sowing – by 1%.
According to the data provided by the Integrated Agricultural Market Information System (ZSRiR, Zintegrowany System Rolniczej Informacji Rynkowej), the prices of cereals in 2021 are as follows:
- consumption wheat – PLN 962 / ton,
- feed wheat – PLN 976 / ton,
- consumption rye – PLN 706 / ton,
- feed barley – PLN 827 / ton,
- consumption oats – PLN 685 / ton,
- fodder triticale – PLN 832 / ton.
The most expensive of those listed above is wheat – both the feed and the consumption type.
COVID-19 and its impact on the grain and cereal market in Poland
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on consumer behaviour. The demand for food products with a long shelf life contributed to the increase in the production of pasta (in 2020, an increase of 14.3% compared to the same period in 2019) and groats (production increase from 1.7 thousand tons in March 2019) to 3.6 thousand tons in March 2020). At the same time, a decrease in demand for fresh bread was observed (a drop from 90 thousand tons in 2019 to 67 thousand tons in April and 71.4 thousand tons in May 2020). During the turmoil related to the coronavirus, flour production showed an increase of 4.6%, which is more than in the previous year.
Author: Dominika Będkowska
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Analiza rynku zbóż (Grain market analysis), Iwona Kajdan-Zysnarska, Kacper Mytko, Centrum Doradztwa Rolniczego, www.cdr.gov.pl.
Polska: Rekordowe zbiory zbóż w 2020 r. (Poland: Record harvests of cereals in 2020), FoodFakty, www.foodfakty.pl.
Produkcja i handel zagraniczny produktami rolnymi w 2019 r. (Production and foreign trade of agricultural products in 2019), Statistics Poland, www.stat.gov.pl.
Zboża idą jak woda. Pszenica paszowa droższa od konsumpcyjnej (Cereals go like water. Feed wheat more expensive than consumption wheat), Maria Chmal, AgroProfil, www.agroprofil.pl.
Jak COVID-19 wpłynął na polską produkcję produktów zbożowych? (How did COVID-19 affect the Polish production of cereal products?), FoodFakty, www.foodfakty.pl.