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Mineral resources of Poland> Exports and imports of mineral raw materials
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Export and import of mineral raw materials

The information on the trade turnover in exports and imports of mineral raw materials in Poland was prepared on the basis of data collected by the Polish Custom Service. Such data come from the special custom statements - SAD (in case of the trade turnover by European Union countries to/from non-EU countries) and INTRASTAT (in case of export and import within EU). The INTRASTAT statements have to be submitted when the commodities value exceeds the imposed limits – in 2017 the limit in the commodities import was equal PLN 3 million, whereas in the export it was PLN 1.5 million. The Polish Custom Service informs that the underestimation of data of the trade turnover not exceeding the mentioned above limits is usually about 10%.

The information on the trade turnover is prepared according to the Combined Nomenclature (CN), which is deeply connected with the international classification system named Harmonized System - HS. The Combined Nomenclature is the obligatory one in the Polish Customs Tariff since 1991. The Combined Nomenclature is the part of the Integrated Tariff of the European Communities (TARIC) which was established by virtue of Article 2 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2658/87 of 23 July 1987 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff. Regulation (EC) No 1789/2003 of 11 October 2003 amended the Regulation mentioned above. The Regulation established in 2003 is the obligatory one in Poland since the 1st of May 2004.

The accession to the European Union caused substantial changes in mineral raw materials turnover in Poland – in 2004 and in the following years. The significant growths of exports and imports value were recorded in 2006 with the magnitude remaining at the similar level as in 2004-2005. Next two years (2007-2008) brought the increase in the import value and volume; the export magnitude decreased while the export value after the drop in 2007 slightly increased in 2008. Due to the worldwide economic crises in 2009 there were drops recorded both for imports and exports – regarding the value and the amount. In 2010 the tendency reversed and growths were noted. In the next two years (2011-2012) such tendency remained regarding the value of the import and the export, whereas the import magnitude grew in 2011, decreased in 2012, and the export volume dropped in 2011 and then increased in 2012. In 2013 the value decreased both for the import and export with the import magnitude drop and the export magnitude increase. In 2014-2015 the value of raw materials turnover dropped. The turnover amount in 2014 decreased for export and increased for import and in 2015 it grew for both turnover aspects. In 2016 the import and export value got better, whereas the import volume grew and the export magnitude decreased. The significant import and the slight export growth were noted in 2017 with the import magnitude growth and the slight export magnitude decline.

The summary statistic for minerals and mineral commodities in Poland in 2017 was presented within four groups: fuels, metals, chemicals and rocks. The magnitude and the value for the total of imports-exports as well as for the particular groups of raw materials are presented in Table 1a/1b. The export/import values are presented both in PLN and EURO.

The data on the mineral raw materials turnover in 2006-2017 do not cover natural gas. The data on natural gas export and import are not available since 2006 due to the confidentiality of the information – according to the Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on Community statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91. The natural gas export from Poland amounts only to dozens million m3 annually and the lack of data does not affect the total balance of the raw materials turnover. The lack of data on the natural gas import to Poland brings down the total amount and the value of raw materials brought to Poland. The data officially presented by the Central Statistical Office of Poland cover only the magnitude of natural gas imported by Poland but without publishing the imports directions. Therefore, such data are not included in this study. Nevertheless, it should be noted that in analyzed period natural gas import increased from 9-10 billion m3 in 2008-2010 to about 13.92 billion m3 in 2016. Information covering 2017 will be issued later. Therefore, it is worth mentioning that the balance of mineral raw materials turnover is higher than the balance taking into account these figures.

The total raw materials export value increased by 15.05% in comparison with the previous year and amounted to PLN 50,294,598 thousand (EURO 11,774,701 thousand) in 2017. The imports value amounted to PLN 91,694,812 thousand (EURO 21,466,915 thousand), increasing substantially – by 28.34%. The exports-imports turnover balance remained negative and was much more adverse – it enlarged by 49.29% (PLN 13,669,006 thousand, EURO 3,311,551 thousand) and amounted to PLN 41,400,214 thousand (EURO 9,692,214 thousand) – excluding natural gas.

The most important, regarding the value of the raw materials exports in 2017, were: hard coal and coal derivatives (22.30% of the total export value), crude oil and petroleum products (17.13%), the raw materials and products of copper metallurgy (14.64%), aluminum (6.35%), iron and ferroalloys (6.29%), precious metals (5.08%), silver (5.00%), nitrogen and multi-component fertilizers (4.55%) and zinc (2.76%; Fig. 1).

The highest values of imports, causing negative balance of the turnover value, related mainly to the such raw materials as: crude oil and petroleum products (56.42% of the total import value), aluminum (7.83%), hard coal and coal derivatives (6.84%), iron and ferroalloys (5.72%), raw materials and products of copper metallurgy (3.60%), nitrogen and multi-component fertilizers (2.39%), precious metals (1.91%), zinc (1.86%) and potassium raw materials (1.17%; Fig. 2).

The total quantity of the raw materials imports increased by 10.50% in 2017 and amounted to 72,095 thousand tonnes, while the export quantity decreased by 7.47% and amounted to 33,204 thousand tonnes.

Figures 1 and 2 show the structure of exports and imports in Poland, i.e. total values and shares of various groups of commodities in the international turnover.

Figure 1. The structure of mineral raw materials exports in Poland in 2017
Figure 2. The structure of mineral raw materials imports in Poland in 2017

Table 2 shows values of an imports-exports balance of particular mineral raw materials groups in last 10 years.

It can be seen that only for metallic raw materials the turnover balance remained positive till 2016. Nevertheless, it should be noted that 2016 was the fourth consecutive year with the declining balance for this group. In 2017 the balance made significantly worse and was negative for the first time. For three remaining raw material groups the balance has been clearly negative in the analized period. Chemical raw materials are characterized by the declining tendency, especially in 2009-2016; which was stopped in 2017. For fuels such tendency was stopped couple of times – in 2009, 2013 and in 2015-2016; with 2017 characterized by the significant drop. The balance for rock raw materials was decreasing in 2010-2011 and such negative trend has been stopped in the following years.

Table 3 shows the imports-exports quantity balance of particular mineral raw materials groups in last 10 years.

The turnover balance within fuels, metals and rocks has been negative since 2007. In the case of metallic raw materials the negative tendency has been occurring since 2012, the balance for rocks – after significant drops in 2008-2011 – have been characterized by a quite stable level in the last few years. The balance for fuels was at the quite even level in 2013-2016 and then dropped largely in 2017. For chemical raw materials the balance remained slightly positive till 2009 and was followed by the visible negative tendency in the next seven years. Considering fuels, it should be noted that taking into account the magnitude of gas import given by the Central Statistical Office of Poland (about 14 million t/y) the balance would drop in 2017 to about -41 million tonnes. Accordingly, the total balance would decrease to about -53 million tonnes.

The variation of the imports–exports balance by the value and the quantity for the last 10 years is shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4.

Figure 3. The balance of Polish imports and exports in terms of mineral raw materials value (PLN billion)
Figure 4. The balance of Polish imports and exports in terms of mineral raw materials quantity (million tonnes)

The value balance decreased substantially in 2010-2011 and in 2017 (Fig. 3). The negative tendency was stopped in 2012-2013 and 2015. The lowest level was attained in 2011 - it amounted to PLN -49.05 billion. The quantity balance declined significantly in 2010-2011 (Fig. 4). There was a meaningful improvement of the balance in 2012-2013 when it amounted to -23.31 million tonnes. In 2014-2017 the balance decreased to the level of about -39 million tonnes. Taking into account the magnitude of the gas import given by the Central Statistical Office of Poland (about 14 million tonnes) the balance would drop in 2017 to about -53 million tonnes.

The percentage contributions of the particular groups of raw materials to the value of exports and imports in 2016-2017 are presented in Figures 5 and 6. The highest increase in the contribution to the turnover value with respect to the previous year took place in fuels import (by 2.6%) and metals export (by 0.8%). The highest decreases were observed within chemicals import (by 1.9%) and fuels export (by 1.0%). Fuels are still the most important group regarding Polish imports (due to the crude oil and petroleum products), whereas their contribution in exports value dropped. Therefore, metallic raw materials were the most important group regarding Polish export.

Figure 5. The contribution of mineral raw materials to the value of Polish exports in 2016–2017
Figure 6. The contribution of mineral raw materials to the value of Polish imports in 2016–2017

Regarding a quantity of raw materials exports it can be seen that chemicals export increased substantially in 2017 – by 1.03 million tonnes, whereas rocks export grew by 0.45 million tonnes and metals export by just 0.13 million tonnes. Fuels export dropped significantly – by 4.28 million tonnes (Fig. 7).

Figure 7. The magnitude of mineral raw materials exports in 2016–2017 (million tonnes)

There were imports growths within all four raw materials groups in 2017. The biggest increase was recorded for fuels import – by 5.33 million tonnes, while metals import increased by 0.60 million tonnes, rocks import by 0.47 million tonnes and chemicals import by 0.45 million tonnes (Fig. 8).

Figure 8. The magnitude of mineral raw materials imports in 2016–2017 (million tonnes)

Tables given below show the comparison between export/import values (Table 4) and quantities (Table 5) in 2016–2017.

The total import value in 2017 increased by 28.34% and export value by 15.05% in comparison with 2016. Regarding imports, the value grew significantly for three groups: - fuels by 33.61%; - metals by 27.40%; - and rocks by 11.27%. There was a slight drop observed within chemicals – by 0.80%. The export value rose by 22.35% for chemicals, by 17.08% for metals, by 12.27% for fuels and by 9.99% for rocks (Table 4).

The total import magnitude in 2017 increased by 10.50% and the export magnitude decreased by 7.47% in comparison with 2016. The import quantity increased within all four groups: - fuels by 12.69%; - chemicals by 7.81%; - rocks by 6.89%; and metals by 5.59%. The export quantity increased for chemicals – by 24.82%, for rocks – by 10.39% and for metals – by 4.22%. The meaningful drop was observed for fuels – the quantity decreased by 17.60% (Table 5).

The quantitative and valuable relations of exports and imports within particular mineral raw materials groups were as follows:

  • fuels – the quantity of the raw materials import was in 2017 bigger than export despite not including the data on natural gas. Therefore, the quantity balance was negative and amounted to 27,220 thousand tonnes. It got worse by 9,610 thousand tonnes (54.57%). The value balance remained definitely negative and amounted to PLN 38,386,400 thousand. The balance got worse by PLN 12,687,113 thousand (49.37%) after the two-year improving tendency – in 2015 it got better by PLN 17,702,278 thousand (38.51%) and in 2016 by PLN 2,562,205 thousand (9.07%). Taking into account the natural gas import, the total import value would be much higher and therefore the balance much more negative;
  • metals – the quantity of the raw materials import was in 2017 bigger than export and such difference was slightly larger than in 2016. The quantity balance was negative and equal 8,136 thousand tonnes (extended by 478 thousand tonnes – 6.24% in comparison with 2016). Despite such proportion, the previous years were characterized by the positive value balance – due to the beneficial price situation (the more expensive metals were being sold and the cheaper ones bought by Poland). Still in 2016 the balance amounted to PLN 459,088 thousand. However in 2017 the balance for the first time dropped to the negative one – it got worse in comparison with 2016 by PLN 1,801,291 thousand and amounted to PLN 1,342,203 thousand;
  • chemicals – similarly to the two groups mentioned above the import amount exceeded the export magnitude. Therefore, the quantity balance remained negative (1,033 thousand tonnes) but improved by 579 thousand tonnes (35.92%). The import value decreased by PLN 48,017 thousand (0.80%), whereas the export value increased by PLN 823,449 thousand (22.35%). The value balance remained negative, however was more favorable than in 2016 – it amounted to PLN 1,428,025 thousand;
  • rocks – the quantity balance was negative and got slightly worse than in 2016 (by 13 thousand tonnes – 0.52%). It amounted to 2,502 thousand tonnes. The value balance remained negative and was less favorable than in 2016 - the export value increased by PLN 237,831 thousand (9.99%) whereas the import value grew by PLN 289,899 thousand (11.27%). The balance amounted to PLN 243,586 thousand.

Directions of Polish export and import of mineral raw materials (divided into 4 main groups) are presented in Table 6. There were 25 most important countries selected (according to import/export value).

Regarding the exports directions, the highest value – similarly to the previous years – was reached by the raw materials export to Germany. It amounted to PLN 11,914,031 thousand, which constituted 23.69% of the total Polish raw materials exports value. Other important countries with the significant contribution to the total Polish raw materials exports value were Czech Republic (PLN 5,839,507 thousand – 11.61%) and Netherlands (PLN 2,977,931 thousand – 5.92%; Fig. 9). These three items on the list of the export directions have not changed in comparison with 2016. The total export value to these three countries amounted to PLN 20,731,469 thousand (41.22% of the total export value).

Figure 9. The Polish raw materials export in 2017, by countries

The major part of the mineral raw materials imports in 2017 came from Russia. The import value was PLN 40,615,254 thousand, which constituted 44.29% of the total mineral raw materials imports value in Poland. Other important countries were Germany (PLN 9,461,071 thousand – 10.32%) and Norway (PLN 3,419,130 thousand – 3.73%; Fig. 10). These three items on the list of the import directions have not changed in comparison with 2016. The total import value from these three countries amounted to PLN 53,495,455 thousand (58.34% of the total import value).

There are quantities and values of import and export of mineral raw materials and selected semi-finished products presented in the Table 7.

Figure 10. Polish raw materials import in 2017, by countries

Prepared by: Marcin Tymiński