Perspectives for domestic cereals market

| Polish Market |

Falling prices of cereals in Poland result from bumper harvest in the country and in the world. However, the forecast shows that this year the crops will be lower that the year before.

How much will be picked?

This year’s volume of basic grains (including barley, wheat, rye, triticale and cereal mixes) is estimated to reach 24.1 million tonnes. The growth concerns wheat (by 9%), rye (by 14%) and triticale (by 27%). However, less barley (by 30%) and cereal mixes (by 22%) will be collected. Maize crops will reach 3.9 million tonnes, 2.3% less than last year.

The size of domestic consumption

Experts forecast that market demand shall reach 26.8 million tonnes. Low consumption and smaller demand will push prices down, resulting in using cereals for industrial purposes, e. g. the production of biofuel. Expected growing scale of poultry production is not sufficient to offset the fall in the production of pork. In the end, less cereals will be needed as fodder. Estimates say that this market will reach 16 million tonnes, or 2% less than in the previous year.

Foreign trade

The most Polish cereals are currently exported to Spain, Ireland, Germany, North African countries and Saudi Arabia. At the beginning of this season (in July and August 2013) 23% more cereals were exported than in the same period of 2012/2013 season. Similar trends were observed in the case of primary processing (growth by 31%) and highly processed cereals products (growth by 8%). However, experts believe that the quantity of grain supply and cereal products will decrease due to diminishing stock in the country and good harvest in the leading European cereal producing states. Therefore, the forecast export might reach 2.9 million tonnes (compared to 4.5 million in 2012/2013), while import of cereal products, resulting from expected market shortages, may reach 1.7 million tonnes.

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Increasing food safety in the world

| Foreign Markets |

The third quarter of 2013 brought good news: food prices fell, making foodstuffs more affordable. Such optimistic statistics were presented by Global Food Security Index, an index measuring access to food, the cost of purchasing agricultural products as well as food safety and quality in 107 countries.

What is food safety?

According to the definition agreed on by representatives of 180 countries at a conference which took place in Rome in 1996, food safety is a condition in which people have full access (material, social and economic) to nutrients satisfying human body needs, food vital for a healthy and active lifestyle. The malnutrition issue still concerns as many as 800 million people in the world, but the scale of the phenomenon continues to fall.

Increasing food safety in the world/fot. photopin.com

Food is getting cheaper

FAO has published information that global food prices fell by 5% in the third quarter of 2013. What is more, the cost of buying food by people in danger of interrupted access to food (dependent on current harvest of cereals and basic agricultural goods) decreased by as much as 16%, thanks to growing market availability of such goods as soy, rice and wheat. Experts from Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the authors of the Index, forecast further downward trend in the pricing of food. Also, seeing that demand for food is falling in the most populous countries in the world: China and India, the availability of foodstuffs is set to improve.

Poland on a strong position

In the general ranking including key criteria (food affordability, availability, quality and safety) our country took the 26th place ex aequo with Hungary, receiving 70.3 out of 100 points. Authors of the Index found that positive aspects of the situation in Poland include: presence of programs concerning food safety, an array of sources of external financing of agriculture and preventing malnutrition (100 points in all these criteria). However there are also drawbacks of the local situation, such as the necessity to increase the proportion of the national budget allocated to financing research and development in agriculture (only 12.5 points in this category).

Increasing food safety in the world/fot. photopin.comAn alternative view

Apart from the research proposed by EIU, there is also the Global Hunger Index (GHI) prepared by International Food Policy Research Institute. Let us look into the complex nature of hunger as a phenomenon. By some it is defined as the discomfort resulting from lack of access to food, by others as the lack of possibility of consuming meals sufficient for a healthy and productive life. Researchers analyzing the global problem of hunger take into consideration three main factors allowing to estimate the scale of the phenomenon: undernourishment, proportion of underweight children and mortality rate among minors. On a 100 points’ scale, zero indicates lack of hunger and 100 points – an acute shortage of food. The latest report was drawn up basing on data collected in 2012 from 120 countries. Poland’s score was 0 points.

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