Milk exporters have too many clients, too little milk
Many Polish dairies export milk, butter and whey abroad and count the profits. However there is, as always, the other side of the coin: the dairy owners who produce for the domestic market complain of high prices and a lack of milk because it is being bought up by exporters.
Poland is one of the largest producers of dairy products, about 10 mln liters of milk products annually. About 30 of the 200 dairies in Poland produce their products only for export. The largest and most popular companies – Mlekovita, Mlekpol and Spomlek – send about 80 percent of their production abroad.
According to the experts, exports are the main factor that keeps dairying in Poland in such good condition.
“This year about 40 percent of the national production will be sent abroad,” said Waldemar Bros of the National Association of the Dairying Cooperative. “If we didn’t export milk, the situation on the national market would be completely different. The producers’ financial situation would be worse, and that would cause stagnation of the market.”
Polish dairy companies have many competitive advantages: the cost of milk, labor and energy. However, the competitive margin between Poland and the countries of Western Europe has been shrinking. That’s why, according to President of the Mlekovita dairy association Dariusz Sapinski, Polish dairies should work on increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of their workers.
Polish dairy products are available not only in Western Europe but also in Belarus, Ukraine and even China.
According to the experts, the Chinese market will improve because its people are starting to eat dairy products in great quantity.
In addition, many Polish companies are planning exports to Arabian countries.
Polish powdered milk, whey and cheeses already are available in Algeria.
On the other hand, the increasing exports tighten dairy supplies and increase prices for Polish consumers. And the high prices influence consumption.
“The consumption of milk in Poland is not increasing,” said Elzbieta Nitecka, director of the Association of Private Dairy Companies.
A similar view was expressed by Henryk Budzinski of the dairy cooperative in Koscian. “The economic situation is benefiting only the milk producers, not the dairies.” he said. “We have to sell our products at high prices. This is caused by the high costs of buying milk from the producers, who often prefer to sell it to the exporters.”
Retail price increases for cheese, yogurt and whey have been noticed by Polish consumers. On the other hand, without exports we wouldn’t be able to enjoy Polish dry cottage cheese. during our holidays in Africa.