Hungary Newsflash Week 2, 2022

Rising pork prices, retail commerce expansion lagging behind, cooperation signed with Nigeria and a special aid to the viticulture sector - Recent news in Hungarian agriculture

Grape harvest
The special end-of-year aid that was allocated to wineries in the end of 2021 targeted small businesses.

Pork prices expected to rise significantly

Tamás Éder, the president of Hungary’s domestic meat producer alliance, has recently told the press that consumer prices for pork products will substantially increase in the first half of 2022.

Mr. Éder has said that animal feed makes up 65-70% of the production costs in the pig sector, and that last year’s 25% to 30% increase in the prices of crops will be incorporated into the producer price of pork.

On the difficulties that the sector faces, Mr. Éder mentioned that the domestic pig sector had to deal with both the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the African Swine Fever outbreaks in Europe. Moreover, domestic economic processes in China as well as difficulties on the international market have caused issues for the pig sector throughout Europe.

The Hungarian branch of Aldi decided to aid the domestic meat sector and in October they started to limit their meat selection to only include pork and beef in their selection that has been entirely produced in Hungary.

Retail commerce figures fall behind expectations

Recent data by Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH) shows that while the monthly growth rate of retail commerce in September and October were 5.8% and 5.7% respectively, this figure dropped to 3.8% in November, reports the news portal Trade Magazin. Péter Virovácz, lead analyst at ING Bank, has commented that this growth figure is significantly lower than the expectations.

According to Mr. Virovácz, the primary reason for the growth trough is a drop in the sales of automotive fuel, which is surprising since a significant increase in fuel prices did not cause a similar decrease in retail sales in October. Analysts also think that an increase in home office work due to the recent pandemic wave might also be a cause for the phenomenon.

Gergely Suppan, lead analyst of Takarékbank has commented that due to the extensive fiscal measures planned in 2022, retail commerce sales might increase by as much as 11% this year.

A woman shopping in a grocery store.
©Jeremy Smith
Recent retail commerce growth number fall behind previously projected figures - A development that the new home office trend as well as automotive prices might have played a part in.

Cooperation to start with Nigeria

The Hungarian Seed Association has signed a cooperation with the Maize Association of Nigeria, reports OTP Agrár. The purpose of the cooperation is to foster information exchange and to discover the possibilities of a Nigerian seed industry based on Hungarian-bred hybrid varieties.

President of the Hungarian Seed Association Géza Takács has highlighted that since its foundation in 1993, Hungary’s seed sector alliance has always seen the expansion of its international relationship network as a strategic goal and that “The high level of quality found in Hungarian husbandry, processing, advanced genetics and knowledge transfer has caught the attention of multiple countries.”

The two parties agreed to provide each other aid in the exchange of information, standards and regulations in the seed sector; to provide support for shared research projects; and to organize meetings in the future and to inform each other on infrastructural developments in the seed sector.

Maize is a very important crop in Nigeria, a country with a population of 200 million and one that has increased its maize production tenfold in the past fifty years to a current annual average of 10 million metric tons. In Nigeria, agriculture makes up for 35% of the country’s employment.

Africa annually produces a total of 75 million tons of maize, however, per hectare yields are around 2 tons, while average maize yields in Hungary are around 8 tons per hectare.

Special end-of-year aid to wineries

The Ministry of Agriculture stated in a press release this week that at the end of 2021, special end-of-year aids have been allocated to wineries that have been most hit by the decline in the tourism and HORECA industries following the outbreak of the pandemic.

In total, 846 wine producers received an aid of €700 per hectare. The Ministry commented that family companies that supply restaurants, hotels and catering companies have been facing serious difficulties in connection with the ongoing pandemic.

The aid targeted small producers who own vineyards (either personally or through their companies), and who process their own grapes into wine.