Hungary: Consumer prices rose by 25.4% in one year

New cases of Avian influenza confirmed; meat production figures decline; women in business in Hungary today - Our weekly briefing on agriculture, food and nature news in Hungary.

Produce at the stand of a vegetable vendor in the Great Market Hall at Fővám tér in Budapest
Beeld: ©Zoltán Szászi
Consumer prices are 25.4% higher than a year ago and rose 0.8% in one month in February.

Consumer prices further increased in February

The Central Statistical Office (KSH) reports that consumer prices in Hungary were 25.4% higher on average in February 2023 compared to the previous year, with household energy and food being the most affected sectors. Prices rose by an average of 0.8% in one month. The price of food increased by 43.3% in February 2023 compared to the same period the previous year, with the cost of eggs (79.2%), dairy products (76.2%), cheese (72.1%), bread (71.1%), and pasta (57.3%) rising the most.

Other products and services that experienced significant price hikes include alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, animal feed, household cleaning products, and automotive fuel. On the other hand, the price of margarine, pork, and poultry decreased slightly, while household energy costs dropped by 2.0%, mainly due to a 5.4% decrease in the cost of natural gas.

These increases in consumer prices are expected to have a significant impact on the Hungarian economy and could affect the purchasing power of consumers. According to experts, the soaring prices of essential goods, such as food and energy, could lead to inflation and negatively impact the economy.

New case of Avian influenza identified

The Hungarian National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH) has confirmed the presence of Avian influenza at a goose farm in Békés county, Southern Hungary, and in birds in Komárom-Esztergom county, Western Hungary, reports a statement by the agency.

At the goose farm, increased mortality rates were observed among the birds and NÉBIH was alerted. Later laboratory testing confirmed the presence of the H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic Avian influenza.

The affected livestock population was culled a protective zone within a 3-km radius and an observation zone within a 10-km radius were established.

In Komárom-Esztergom county, the same H5N1 strain of the virus was detected in captive birds. NÉBIH continues to inform the public about preventive measures in place and identified outbreaks.

Meat production declines

Hungarian slaughterhouses saw a decrease in animal slaughter last year compared to the previous year, according to a report by the Institute of Agricultural Economics (AKI). The total live weight of slaughtered poultry was 634.7 thousand tons, with a cut weight of 479.9 thousand tons in 2022. Chicken comprised the majority of the slaughtered poultry at 84%, with 175.1 million birds slaughtered, a 5.8% decline from the previous year. Meanwhile, duck and goose slaughter plummeted by 35% and 37%, respectively, while turkey slaughter fell by 10% compared to 2021.

The live weight of the 4.532 million pigs slaughtered in Hungary in 2021 amounted to a total of 532 thousand tons, with a cut weight of 428 thousand tons, both of which were more than 7% lower than the previous year. Notably, the slaughter of mother pigs fell by 25.5%, from 88.7 thousand in the previous year to 60 thousand.

Last year, Hungary saw 97.9 thousand cattle slaughtered. The live weight of the slaughtered animals was 49.9 thousand tons, with a cut weight of 25.7 thousand tons, which represented an 11.5% and 11.2% decrease, respectively. The cattle slaughter industry averaged over 4,100 tons per month in live weight in 2022, with April's highest monthly value exceeding 4,900 tons.

As for sheep, 42.4 thousand were slaughtered last year, a 12% annual decrease. AKI's publication reveals that over 5,400 mother sheep were slaughtered, with a total live weight of 263 tons.

Women’s Day: 83 thousand companies in Hungary have women in their leadership

This Wednesday was International Women’s Day. reported this week on the number of women leaders in business in Hungary.

More than a thousand companies were added to the number of all-women led companies in 2022, although there still are more men company owners in Hungary.

Men owners and executives still dominate the majority of Hungarian businesses, but there are more and more successful companies run by women in management. Currently, there are about 260,000 women owners present, a number that decreased in 2022, mainly due to the departure from the mixed ownership circle. This ratio is still very far from the quantity of companies led by men.

On the topic of women in business leadership in agriculture, we interviewed three women leaders in Hungarian