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Poland sees sharp drop in frozen cherry exports

Poland is the largest cherry producer in the EU, with over 50% market share. The country is also the EU's largest supplier of frozen cherries. According to Eurostat data, in the last three seasons, Poland has managed to cover about 43-53% of the import demand for frozen cherries in the EU, tells Anna Kitala, agricultural market expert at BGN BNP Paribas.

However, the drastic reduction in this year's cherry harvest in Poland (64% drop compared to last year and a 62% reduction compared to the last 5 years, according to the Polish CSO) has resulted in a reduction of the frozen fruit production and its export volume. 

Eurostat's preliminary data show that in the first month of the current 2017/18 season, i.e. in July this year, nearly 5.2 thousand tonnes of frozen cherries were exported from Poland, which is 24% less than last year. However, due to the increase in unit prices, the value of exports has increased.

Most of these frozen cherries were sold to the EU (over 4 thousand tonnes). Exports to this group of countries remained stable compared to the previous year. Sales to third countries, the most of which were made to Belarus, were considerably lower. Approximately 880 kilos of fruit were consumed there, i.e. 57% less than in July 2016.

It is worth noting that the importance of Belarus as a buyer of frozen cherries in Poland has increased significantly since the introduction of the Russian embargo on EU food in 2014. While in 2011/12-2013/14 the country accounted for about 0.3-0.4% of Polish frozen cherry exports in terms of volume, in the seasons 2014/15-2016/17 this share has reached around 18-31%.

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