25 Mar 2024

In Poland, blueberry imports are about to exceed exports


Poland, a major global exporter of fresh blueberries, has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets for this fruit, with an increasing source of supply from abroad, as reported by EastFruit. It is noteworthy that at the end of 2023, Poland rose to the top eight of the world's largest importers of fresh blueberries.

Although export volumes continue to exceed import figures by 15-20%, the gap is gradually closing. 2023 saw Poland facing a complicated situation: despite a favourable market environment, a failed blueberry harvest in Peru, combined with unusually high prices in the European Union from August to October, prevented Poland from capitalising on these conditions, leading to a reduction in export quantities. 

As a result, there is an imminent possibility that Poland will move from being a net exporter to a net importer of blueberries in the near future, although it is expected to maintain its status as Europe's largest exporter during the summer and autumn months.

Spain, the Netherlands, Peru, Chile, Morocco and Ukraine are the main suppliers of fresh blueberries to Poland. Supplies from the first five countries are mainly out of season compared to local Polish production, while Ukrainian imports are aligned with the peak harvest period in Poland. 

Ukrainian blueberries are likely to be subsequently re-exported to other EU countries via Polish traders.

Germany is confirmed as the main importer of Polish blueberries, far surpassing the UK and the Netherlands, which occupy second and third place respectively in the ranking of purchasing countries. Belarus ranks fourth in terms of delivery volumes and is also known for its active export of native blueberries to Russia. 

It is widely acknowledged among market insiders that Poland, through Belarusian intermediation, directs its blueberries to the market of what is called the aggressor country. In the period 2022-2023, more than 2.7 thousand tonnes of fresh blueberries were sent to the Belarusian market, making up more than 5% of Poland's total blueberry exports, effectively reaching Russia.

Source: EastFruit

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