Poland is among the largest cherry producers in the world. According to FAO data, the country accounted, on average, for slightly less than 14% of the global production volumes in the period from 2014 to 2016, so it ranked third globally. The first place corresponded to Russia (15%), the second to Turkey (14%), and the fourth to Ukraine (13%), says Anna Kitala, an expert on agricultural markets at BGŻ BNP Paribas.
Poland is also one of the world's largest producers of cherry preserves and is a very important supplier of frozen cherries to the global and EU market. According to Eurostat data, the country's share in imports to the EU during the period at hand was 44%.
According to the Central Statistical Office, the cherry harvest in Poland in 2017 amounted to 70,000 tonnes; almost 65% lower than in 2016. In comparison with the average of the previous 3 years, the volume fell by 61%. Due to the shortage of domestic raw material for processing, the import of these fruits increased significantly.
"The drastic decline in the fruit supply resulted in a significant reduction in the production of frozen cherries. According to IAFE, processing plants reduced their production to 30-35 thousand tonnes in the 2017/18 season, compared to 115 thousand tonnes in the previous campaign. The production of concentrated cherry juices amounted to 7,000 tonnes, compared to 14,000 tonnes in the previous season, reported Anna Kitala.
According to Eurostat data, in the period July-October 2017, the export of frozen cherries from Poland amounted to 15.7 thousand tonnes, i.e. it was 40% lower compared to the same months in 2016. This is mostly due to the fact that 33% of total exports went to Germany; however, in comparison with 2016, sales to this country were down 43%. Exports to Belarus, whose importance as a recipient of frozen cherries from Poland increased very strongly after the introduction of the Russian embargo in 2014, amounted to 3 thousand tonnes, i.e. a 62% drop compared to the previous year.
"Looking at the trade data for the entire 2017/18 season, a significantly smaller export of frozen cherries from Poland is to be expected, compared to the previous season; however, it is likely that sales will drop less than the production, due to the sale of stocks from the 2016/17 season," adds the expert from BGŻ BNP Paribas.