Hungarian agriculture output continued to increase in 2016

Hungarian agriculture has seen a steady increase in agricultural output in the past 6 years. In 2016 the combined value of the agricultural exports of Hungary were in the value of over 8 billion EUR. The foreign trade balance also showed a surplus of 3 billion EUR.

The Hungarian agricultural sector has increased its exports by close to 40 percent in the last 6 years, showing steady growth throughout the years even despite factors such as the Russian embargo, market crisis, avian influenza, etc. In 2016 avian influenza was one of the main factors decreasing the value of Hungarian agricultural exports, because over 2.66 million chickens had to be disposed of because of the virus and its wide ranging spread in the country.

The growth of the agricultural sectors output was also supported with the help of government funding. Whereas in 2010 national funds for sectors in crisis such as poultry, pig meat, beef, milk, etc. were given national funds in the amount of 51 bln HUF, in 2016 the amount of national support rose to
95 bln HUF for the sectors in need. In 2017 it is expected that an additional 4 bln HUF of national funds will be available for the agricultural sector bringing the entire amount to 99 bln HUF (around 321 million EUR). In 2018, the national support is predicted to decrease slightly and should be around 96.7 bln HUF. The increase in agricultural output has also has a positive effect on employment, in 2016 around 217 thousand people were employed in the sector, which is a 27 percent increase compared to 2010.

The situation in the EU was slightly different to that of Hungary because the total value of agricultural production in 2016 was 401 bln EUR, which represents a 3.2 percent decrease in comparison to 2015. The output of EU’s combined plant production decreased by 1.8 percent whereas the output of EU’s animal production increased by 1.4 percent. Hungary represented 2.1 percent of the EU’s total agricultural output, which is also an increase for Hungary by 0.2 percent compared to 2015.

Hungarian agriculture in 2016 in numbers (according to preliminary data):

  • Agriculture accounted for 3.8% of Hungary’s GDP in 2016, agricultural GDP and agriculture represented 4.5% of the gross added value, with 5.5% of investments and 5% employment.
  • In 2016, the surplus of agricultural trade balance remained below the level of the previous year with imports amounting to HUF 1594 billion and exports to HUF 2410 billion.
  • The total output of the gross agricultural production was around 2619 billion HUF in 2016, which is a 5.3% increase from the previous year. Out of these plant products accounted for 60%, animal and animal production for 33% and agricultural services and secondary activities for 7%.
  • From the total investment value of the national economy, agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for 5.5% and the food industry for 3.7%.
  • In 2016 Hungarian agriculture grew by 7.5%, while the food industry grew by 32%.
  • 9,000 cooperatives and 416,000 individual farms carried out agricultural activities in 2016, in comparison with 2013 the number of cooperatives increased by 11% whereas individual farms decreased by 12%.
  • In 2016, the agricultural producer price index fell by 3.8%, excluding live animals, the prices of all major commodities fell, plant products by 5.7% and animals and animal products by 0.6%.
  • Agricultural land prices have continued to increase over the years, the average price of 1 hectare in 2015 was over HUF 1 million. However, prices of agricultural land vary greatly in individual regions, see graph below.
  • 2016 was a year of records in production for arable farming, wheat output grew by 33% (8.8 million tonnes) and maize grew by 4.9% (5.6 million tonnes) in comparison with 2015. Record yields were also reached for sunflower with 1.9 million tonnes and rape seed 0.9 million tonnes.
  • The cattle stock continued to increase by 2.1% (838 thousand) compared to 2015. The pig population was 2.9 million, sheep population 1.2 million, poultry 40.1 million, whereas all three declined compared to 2015.
  • Animal production increased by 4.5% in 2016 and the volume produced was around 1.6 million tonnes