The country's frozen vegetable production in the 2015/2016 season totaled 571,000 tonnes, compared with 58.6 tonnes (-2.6%) in the previous season, according to the Polish Central Statistics Office. The drop in production was due to a sharp drop in the supply of raw materials in the domestic market, but a lower drop in the production of frozen food compared to the production of fresh vegetables. According to statistics from the Bureau of Statistics, Poland's total vegetable production in 2015 was less than 3.8 million tons, which is about 18% lower than the same period last year, explained Mariusz Dziwulski, an expert on agricultural products market analysis at BNP Paribas.
Dziwulski emphasizes that despite the decline in production last season, exports of Polish frozen vegetables have actually increased. According to Eurostat, the country's external sales in the first 11 months of the 2015/2016 season (July 2015-May 2016) amounted to 407,000 tonnes, about 7% higher than the previous year, but it should be noted, which was mainly the result of strong sales growth in the third quarter of 2015 (+27%).
However, the supply shortage of frozen food has become increasingly evident since the beginning of 2016, and the sales of frozen vegetables have slowed down significantly. EU statistics show that Poland exported 188,000 tonnes of frozen vegetables in the first five months of 2016, about 4% less than last year. According to experts at BNP Paribas, the frozen vegetable market is still affected by Russian trade restrictions. The export volume of frozen vegetables last season was almost 3% and 8% lower than the previous two and three seasons, respectively, and the volume of exports to non-EU regions fell by 25% and 17% respectively.
Exports to the Belarusian country rose by 38 percent (55,300 tons), he added. Polish exports of frozen vegetables to the United States (+53%, to 12,000 tons) and Saudi Arabia (+170%, to 6,900 tons) increased strongly.