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Poland is a net importer of medical equipment


Whilst export of medical equipment is on the rise, Polish producers are becoming more and more competitive

Poland is among the leading importers of medical equipment. At the same time, year in year out we are exporting more. The condition of Polish manufacturers and distributors is getting better and there are things they can show off. We shall find out about that soon at the International Trade Fair of Medical Equipment and Instruments SALMED in Poznań.

Poland is a net importer of medical equipment. In 2016 we imported equipment worth of USD 4.22 billion, which ranks us 10th globally. However, the important thing is that in the recent years we have been improving the scores as regards trade in medical equipment.

Back in 2014, we imported medical equipment for USD 4.5 billion, while exports reached USD 2.77 billion. At that time, the deficit totaled over USD 1.7 bn. In 2016, exports rose to USD 3.24 bn., whereas the deficit dropped to USD 985 million. According to the information by InfoCredit, a service partner of the Exhibitor Zone, the export trend has clearly been on the rise. Import, on the other hand, has been shrinking year after year, which could possibly mean that Polish manufacturers are becoming more and more competitive.

Not surprisingly, Germany is our main trade partner. What may come as a surprise, however, is that we have a surplus in the trade of medical equipment with this country. In 2016 the export from Poland to Germany was worth USD 915 million and import totaled USD 774 m. As regards the ranking of suppliers to Poland, Germany is clearly ahead. Yearly, we import medical equipment from the USA for USD 306 m, from Great Britain for USD 234 m and from France for USD 196 m. The top five finishes with Italy (USD 151 m).

In terms of exports, apart from Germany, the most important markets for Poland are the USA (worth USD 306 m), Great Britain (USD 234 m), France (USD 196 m) and Italy (USD 151.4 m). Nonetheless, Poland does not rank among top ten suppliers in any of these markets. But, there is a lot to fight for. Yearly, Americans import medical equipment for USD 80 billion, Germany for USD 38.2 bn., and France and Great Britain for more than 17 bn. Not to mention China, which imports equipment worth of USD 92.7 billion, in which Poland’s share totals only USD 106 m.

Polish medical manufacturers are doing pretty well, however. Revenues of 150 companies which have been publishing their results since 2011, including exhibitors from Poznań, have gone up by 21.3% in the last five years. The year 2015 was the best for them. This is when the annual dynamics amounted to 8.7%. More than 76% of the surveyed entities have recorded net profits. Equipment distributors are doing even better (the surveyed group consisted of 160 companies). Their revenues have increased by 32.5% since 2011, and 85% of the surveyed companies have recorded net profits. Here, the highest growth of revenues (18.5%) was also recorded in 2015.

Given this data, it is not at all surprising that it will be the twenty-seventh time we have met in Poznań at the fair for the medical sector, which is considered an exclusive event. The fair is participated in by management staff, members of specialist chambers and associations, doctors specialized in a variety of areas, nurses and midwives, physio-therapists, and paramedics, who consider it a venue to get familiar with the latest sector-specific products and services.