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Mike Knowles



Volume rise leaves Hungary short

Overproduction of products including apples, cherries and plums contributes to 10-15 per cent fall in grower returns

Volume rise leaves Hungary short

The Hungarian promotional stand at Fruit Logistica in Berlin

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Fruit and vegetable producers in Hungary saw their returns fall in 2014 due to overproduction of key products such as apples, cherries, onions and root vegetables, according to new figures published by national industry organisation FruitVeB.

With total fresh produce volumes across the country reaching 2.97m tonnes for the calendar year, the amount of domestic fruit supplied was around 26-28 per cent up on the amount for 2013 at 1.15m tonnes, while homegrown vegetable output was around 15-17 per cent higher year on year, including 1.4m tonnes of field-grown veg and 395,000 tonnes of greenhouse veg.

As reported by the website Privát Bankár, Hungary’s primary fresh produce sector generated as much as Ft260bn (€861.3m) in 2014, while the retail value of that production was around Ft710bn (€2.35bn).

Compared with the equivalent data for 2013, those figures were said to be around 10-15 per cent lower.

FruitVeB president Ledó Ferenc reported that a lack of spring frosts had boosted apple, sour cherry and plum production to record levels.

A lack of water during the spring caused problems for field vegetables, meanwhile, and rainy conditions in August made harvesting and storage difficult, particularly when it came to onions and root veg.

Broken down by product, Hungary produced 820,000 tonnes of apples, 222,000 tonnes of watermelons, 85,000 tonnes of sour cherries, 75,000 tonnes of plums, 47,000 tonnes of peaches, 42,000 tonnes of pears, 35,000 tonnes of apricots and 17,000 tonnes of cherries.

For vegetables, the country produced 580,000 tonnes of cucumbers/gherkins, 230,000 tonnes of peppers, 172,000 tonnes of tomatoes, 95,000 tonnes of peas and 31,000 tonnes of green beans.

Around half of the country’s fruit and vegetable production was exported, FruitVeB added.

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