why in Poland they started talking about a possible food crisis in the country – Teller Report Teller Report

Representatives of the food industry in Poland said that the current energy crisis could lead to food shortages in the country. According to them, this is facilitated by the suspension or reduction of production at a number of enterprises in the chemical industry. At the same time, the Polish authorities recently reported that underground gas storage facilities were 100% full, and in October Warsaw is waiting for the launch of the Baltic Pipe pipeline, which will receive gas from Norway. However, experts note that even filled storage facilities will not help Poland avoid an energy crisis and a decline in production, since gas consumption in the country is several times higher than UGS volumes, and industrialists are forced to buy gas at a market price, which has now become unbearable for many.

In Poland, they said that in the coming weeks the country could cover the food shortage – it is steadily provoked by the energy crisis in Europe. Representatives of the country’s food industry told the newspaper Wiadomości that they are already facing a shortage of certain substances necessary for production, due to the closure of a number of enterprises in related industries due to high prices for hydrocarbons.

Thus, Grupa Azoty, a company producing fertilizers and plastic components, announced the suspension of work, and chemical plants that are part of the Capital group reported a decrease in ammonia generation by 10%. There are problems with the supply of carbon dioxide and equipment cleaning products.

If the situation does not change, entire production lines will have to be cut, which will lead to higher prices for dairy and meat products, or even to the disappearance of certain goods from stores, suppliers have warned.

In particular, the Polish branch of the Carlsberg brewing company has already announced the suspension of production due to the cessation of carbon dioxide supplies. As a representative of the company told the Poradnik Handlowca newspaper on August 25, the current CO2 reserves do not allow the production of beer to continue. According to him, the situation was caused by the refusal of Anwil SA and Grupa Azoty SA to continue supplying carbon dioxide. In this regard, the representative of Carlsberg Polska called on the government to respond to the situation, saying that it will certainly affect other manufacturers.

Agnieszka Maliszewska, head of the Polish Dairy Chamber, told the Wiadomości newspaper about a similar appeal to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. According to her, the country’s leadership should convene an emergency meeting to solve the problems faced by the industry of the republic.

Government figures

Meanwhile, the Polish authorities announced in early August that the country’s underground gas storage facilities (UGS) were 100% full. In particular, Anna Moskva, Minister of Climate and Environment, announced such figures in an interview with the Polsat TV channel.

“This season we are provided. We have 100% of the gas in storage. All gas supplies, despite what is happening with Nord Stream 1, are being carried out,” she said.

In addition, the minister recalled the imminent commissioning of the Baltic Pipe pipeline, through which gas from Norway will be supplied to Poland. The launch of the highway is scheduled for this autumn, and deliveries along it have already been contracted for 2023. According to the Polish state oil and gas company PGNiG, for the fourth quarter of 2022, 800 million cubic meters were contracted for pumping through the Baltic Pipe. m of gas.

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In addition, Anna Moskva said that the country is also provided with uninterrupted supplies of coal, in connection with which consumers supposedly do not have to worry about heating in the winter. According to her, Poland imports coal from Colombia and Indonesia.

However, the minister’s statements differ from the data of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Polish Coal Sellers. They note that the country is experiencing a shortage of several million tons of coal. In addition, as journalists from the Rzeczpospolita newspaper emphasized on August 23, the coal imported by Poland has too low a calorific value and cannot become a full-fledged substitute for Russian fuel, which Warsaw refused to purchase back in April. The publication quotes the words of the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Polish Coal Sellers Lukasz Gorbach, who said that from one ton of current raw materials, only 15-20% of the total volume can be obtained as fuel.

Not all is well in the gas sector, Polish analysts say. As Greenpeace Polska representative Marek Jozefjak said on the Onet Rano program on August 11, despite the available reserves, Poland may face a gas shortage as early as December. According to him, the organization’s experts, having studied the gas market in Europe and Poland, as well as Polish contracts for supplies and reserves, came to the conclusion that from December the country may face a gas shortage of 40%. At the same time, the government is trying to “put a good face on a bad game,” while the situation is rather alarming, he stressed.

“The government is talking about Baltic Pipe, but not talking about the contracts that have been signed. There are delays in the exploitation of deposits on the Norwegian shelf. And this is one of the reasons why this winter will be difficult in terms of gas supplies, ”RIA Novosti quotes Yuzefyak.

He stressed that if PGNiG does not conclude any new contracts, then the missing volumes will have to be purchased at exchange prices, and this will lead to an even greater rise in gas prices in the country.

Meanwhile, Przemysław Vatslavsky, deputy chairman of the board of the PGNiG oil and gas concern, said at a press conference on August 18 that a sharp jump in the cost of natural gas led to a decrease in its consumption in the country by 7%. At that time, according to Vaclavsky, the average price increase on the stock exchange in the second half of 2022 was 244%.

Out of touch with reality

Leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund Igor Yushkov, in an interview with RT, called the warnings of Polish industrialists about a possible food shortage in the country justified. According to him, the real state of affairs in Poland is such that producers are forced to buy gas from suppliers at market prices, while subsidies are allocated to the population. In addition, the assertions of the Polish authorities that the country is fully provided with gas are only partly true, the analyst added.

“Yes, Poland has gas reserves in underground storage facilities, but their volume does not exceed 4 billion cubic meters. m. At the same time, the country consumes around 20 billion cubic meters. m of gas per year. In this regard, it is obvious that there will not be enough reserves even for the heating season, and it is also not worth relying on plan B in the form of LNG, since the volumes supplied to Poland are not enough, and its price is no less high,” Yushkov explained.

Hence a simple pattern: expensive hydrocarbons cause a high cost of electricity, which leads to an increase in the cost of products, the expert explained.

“Because of this, local producers are forced to close their enterprises, as they cannot compete with foreign suppliers, for example, from Asia,” Yushkov said.

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In his opinion, the Polish government is actually aware that their position among the rest of the EU countries in terms of gas supply is not much better. For this reason, Warsaw reacts so sharply to the initiative of Brussels to share gas with the rest of the community, the expert believes.

“If suddenly Poland agrees to provide its gas to its neighbors, but only at a market price and on condition of full confidence that it will have enough gas for the entire autumn-winter period. But now we don’t see anyone’s confidence in the successful completion of the heating season,” Yushkov added.

In turn, Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior researcher at the Center for European Studies at IMEMO RAS, in a conversation with RT, noted that the current political leadership of Poland is “distinguished by demagogy,” and issues of national welfare are pushed aside.

“The main thing is the so-called Euro-Atlantic values, anti-Russian rhetoric and anti-Russian actions. And against this background, the current political leadership of Poland makes those decisions that do not contribute to the normal economic development of the country, in particular, voluntarily cutting itself off from profitable energy supplies from Russia. In my opinion, Warsaw is in a sort of frenzy and does not care at all about the population and industry of the country in the long term, ”he explained.

At the same time, the analyst believes that Poland should not be expected to show solidarity with other EU members on the gas issue. Indeed, despite all their “Europeanness” and declared values, they proceed only from their own interests and their own benefit, Olenchenko added.

“There are no conditions under which Warsaw decides to join the action to support the gas-poor neighbors. Because she is very selfish and dependent, remembering only what they promise to allocate to her: subsidies, subsidies, and so on, ”the expert noted.

However, Poland has no chance to avoid the consequences of the pan-European energy crisis, even with 100% occupancy of storage facilities and the establishment of uninterrupted gas supplies, the source said.

“In the near future, there are no prospects for reducing the price of energy resources, and Poland, on an equal basis with everyone else, will have to buy it at exorbitant prices. Accordingly, its industrialists will not be able to provide their production with sufficient volumes of gas, which will lead either to a decrease in output or to its rise in price. In any case, they will lose their competitiveness both in the domestic and foreign markets. And this will entail serious economic problems: a further increase in inflation, a recession and, as a result, social discontent, ”summed up Olenchenko.

Source: RT на русском by russian.rt.com.

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