From Bulgarian yogurt, Greek olive oil, Polish milk, Czech beer, Hungarian wine “Tokaj”, the agricultural products of Central and Eastern European countries continue to enter the families of Chinese people, enriching people’s tables, and becoming a window of understanding of Central and Eastern Europe country style. Affected by natural conditions and historical factors, Central and Eastern European countries are particularly dependent on agricultural development. Agricultural product trade occupies a prominent position in the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries, and agriculture is also one of the key areas of cooperation between the two sides.
Since the beginning of this year, affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the agricultural production and foreign trade channels of Central and Eastern European countries have been affected to varying degrees, and the losses have been severe. As China’s fight against the new crown pneumonia epidemic has achieved major strategic results, economic development has stabilized and improved, which has led to the recovery of agricultural trade in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Chinese market has become a new growth point for Central and Eastern Europe’s agricultural exports.
Exports to China, rise against the trend
Lowicz County is one of the important dairy production areas in Poland. It is less than 100 kilometers away from Lodz Station, the terminal of the China-Europe Railway Line. Every year, more than 600 containers of dairy products worth 10 million Euros are sold to China. Thanks to the growth of the Chinese market, the export volume of Polish dairy products to China has grown rapidly.
After the outbreak, the demand for dairy products in Europe dropped sharply, which had a huge impact on the Polish dairy industry, which relied heavily on the European market. Many dairy farmers had to reduce their inventory to control losses. Shimon Marcos, sales manager of the Lowwich Regional Milk Cooperative, said: “The epidemic has increased the cost of storing and transporting dairy products by about 20%. Many large cattle farmers are on the verge of bankruptcy. Without the Chinese market, our losses would be even greater. “
In the first half of this year, Poland’s exports of milk and cream to China increased by 25%, and the export volume of whey powder increased by 1.6 times, achieving an upward trend. Marizjewska, Director of the Polish Dairy Chamber of Commerce, said: “Polish dairy products are very popular in China for their green and healthy quality and unique taste. Faced with the challenges brought by the epidemic and rising trade protectionism, China has become an important issue for us. The export direction is expected to be the same in the future.”
The trade of agricultural products between China and Poland has risen against the trend, thanks to the unique role played by the China-Europe train during the epidemic prevention and control period. The cold chain transportation equipment of China-Europe Express trains is suitable for the transportation of livestock products, fruits and vegetables and dairy products. Compared with air and sea transportation, it has advantages in freight and time. It has become a bright spot in the protection of agricultural trade between China and Central and Eastern Europe. In August of this year, the number of trains and boxes sent by China-Europe trains set a new record, with a year-on-year increase of 62% and 66% respectively.
Trachk, President of the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce in Poland, said: “In 2019, the total agricultural trade between China and 17 countries in Central and Eastern Europe exceeded 1.4 billion U.S. dollars. This data is very important to us. Under the impact of the epidemic, the agricultural and livestock industry with a relatively fragile industrial chain. After being hit hard, the Chinese market appears to be even more important. It is necessary to make full use of the advantages of China-Europe freight trains and actively explore new ways of agricultural trade cooperation between Central and Eastern European countries and China.”