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Top nine Polish export hits – part 1

Wyślij Print Pobierz added: | 2014-11-12 15:53:03

Top nine Polish export hits – part 1

Poland achieved a foreign trade surplus for the first time in history in January-May this year, according to the data of stats office GUS. Foreign trade balance in the period showed a token surplus of EUR 65 mln. The following is a list of Poland's 9 greatest export ”hits” - products whose foreign sales contributed to this historic change in the Polish economy.

1. Windows and doors

Poland is among the leaders of windows and doors producers in Europe and, in some export segments, takes the first place in the old continent. Polish companies exported windows and doors worth EUR 1.15 bln last year, up by 10.95% from 2012 and nearly four times more than in 2004. In the European comparison, the result was second only to Germany. Italy, which ranked third, achieved foreign sales value of “only” EUR 0.5 bln.

“Over last year, exports grew in all product categories (PVC, wood, aluminum, cast iron or steel), but it is worth noting that wood products makers enjoyed the biggest increase of as much as 21.35%. A closer look at the GUS data shows that this growth is chiefly driven by the rising exports of wooden windows (29.5%), while the increase in the value of wooden doors exports was marginal – as little as 0.62%. Nevertheless, wooden windows and doors had the biggest share in the Polish exports, replacing PVC products, which had held the lead for many years. One should also note the 17.17% increase in aluminum products sales abroad,” industry portal said in April this year.

2. Cosmetics

Poland's 2013 cosmetics exports hit EUR 1.36 bln which translates to an 18% growth versus 2012, show the data of the industry association PZPK. Polish cosmetics industry currently ranks Europe's sixth, after France (EUR 4.5 bln), Germany (EUR 2.5 bln), Italy, United Kingdom and Spain.

Polish cosmetics are exported not only to the EU states, but also to the Arab world, the US and Asia.  Last year, post-Soviet states were the biggest recipients of Polish cosmetics as they accounted for 40% of the exports (of which Russian sales represented 15.3%). The United Kingdom came second (12.1%) and Germany third (11.9%). Smaller markets for Polish cosmetics can be found all over the world, from the Caribbean to Oceania. In their fight for Western markets, Polish enterprises benefit from lower prices of their products as well as their quality, equal to or better from that offered by international brands.

International concerns such as L'Oreal or Avon (both of which located their biggest European factories in Poland) are Poland’s biggest cosmetics exporters. But Polish producers take advantage of special support  from the government, which is aids exporters via a special program “Polish Economy Promotion on International Markets” (a full list of cosmetics producers covered by the scheme is available at:

3. Apples

In 2012/13 season, Poland overtook China in terms of apple exports and moved to the position of the global leader. Apple exports in the period hit 1.2 mln tons by volume and EUR 438 mln by value, according to the data of the Agriculture Ministry.

While Poland holds a powerful global position in apple exports, this position could be shaken in the face of the Russian embargo on fruit introduced as of August as well as the crisis in Ukraine. Apple exports to Russia accounted for 56% of the total in the last season at 677k tons and EUR 256 mln. Other main importers of Polish apples are Belarus with 145k tons and EUR 45.5 mln, Germany – 66.8k tons and EUR 18 mln and Ukraine – 53k tons and EUR 17.5 mln.

4. Household appliances

Poland is among Europe's top household appliances producers – in the past few years the segment enjoyed a high output growth rate of 5-10%. In 2012 alone, household appliances exports surged by 10% y/y to PLN 14.41 bln, as per the estimates of researcher PMR. Last year was an exception as the exports value slipped to PLN 14.271 bln.

Analysts blame that decline on imports of brown goods from Asia, cheaper than Polish products. Domestic producers do not stand a chance in the price war with Asian competitors, if only due to higher labor costs, according to mBank analysts. Fortunately, importing white goods, such as washing machines or dishwashers, from the Far East is too expensive and constitutes no threat to the Polish producers in this subsector.

5. Milk products

The value of dairy products exported last year amounted to EUR 1.7 bln. Imports in the period amounted to EUR 700 mln, which gave Poland a EUR 1 bln surplus in foreign trade of dairy products.

The EU states were the biggest importer of the Polish milk products in 2013 as they accounted for nearly 73% of the total, show the data of the agricultural market agency ARR. Developing economies (some 13%) and CIS states (about 11%) followed.

The share of cheese in the total dairy exports is rising and currently stands at 40%. The main buyers are the EU states, albeit their share is declining, while that of non-EU countries, such as e.g. Russia or Saudi Arabia, is steadily increasing


Source: Ministry of Treasury of the Republic of Poland

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