Polish Beef Exports See Continued Growth

POLAND - The Polish beef sector has seen sustained growth over the past three years with an annual increase in the national herd of approximately one per cent, according to Mark Zieg, from the Meat Division of the Irish food agency, Bord Bia.
calendar icon 1 March 2010
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The Polish cattle herd has been rebuilding steadily since its low point at 5.35 million head in 2003 and reached 5.7 million head in 2009.

The cow herd is predominately dairy based with the number of cows standing at 2.6 million head of which just 82,000 are suckler cows.

Total net beef production grew almost nine per cent in 2009 to 410,000 tonnes (cwe) and two per cent the previous year to 377,000 tonnes.

Some 60 per cent of their output is exported, as domestic consumption is low at only 4kg per capita. Total exports in 2009 jumped by five per cent to 242,000 tonnes.

With the number of cows stabilising and dairy cow numbers even contracting by over 100,000 head in 2009, the increase in production is attributed to growing productivity in both the farming and processing sectors. Furthermore, the number of cattle exported live from Poland has moderated over recent years with numbers of calves exported in 2009 standing at 380,000 head, which is more than 40 per cent below 2006 export levels, which is further boosting beef output.

In terms of beef exports trade focuses heavily on Italy, Germany and Netherlands, with exports of approximately 60,000 tonnes to Italy and 44,000 tonnes to both Germany and the Netherlands.

In 2009 the fastest growing export market was Spain, with exports more than doubling to 17,000 tonnes.

Beef Exports in Tonnes pw - January-November

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