The article analyses the impact of joining the EU on domestic agricultural and food prices in Poland in the first six months following the accession. The authors examine the initial predictions of experts concerning price changes, made before May 1, 2004, and compare them with the status quo. The analysis covered the main transmission channels through which the price effects of accession penetrated into the Polish economy. Then, an attempt at evaluating their importance for individual agri-food products was undertaken. The research took into account the influence of international trade (arbitrage) on changes in the prices of both final products and raw materials. It also covered the breakdown of retail prices of food, showing the share of producers, processors, traders and taxes in the structure of these prices. The authors conclude that in the case of some food and agricultural products the pace of the prices equalization outgrew the initial projections, proving much faster than expected. The reasons for that were not only of economic but also of psychological nature. However, there still are some markets where price convergence remains gradual. It should be noted that price differences between Polish products and those from other EU countries will depend not only on the demand and supply factors in play on the Common Market but, in a large measure, also on fluctuations in exchange rates. The observable appreciation of the Polish zloty has contributed to the quicker adjustment of Polish prices to the EU ones, in general.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.