Domestic Potato Shortage Impacts Prices in Hungary
Hungary has not been self-sufficient in the potato market for a long time, but the prices of potatoes in February were higher than ever, reports the Hungarian publication InfoStart.
At the moment, only potatoes grown in France and North Africa are available on the Hungarian market, as the domestic production has almost run out. According to the information, this has been happening for years. Since the country joined the common EU market, the movement of goods has become easier, which has allowed Hungary to supplement its potato production.
In the 1930s, the acreage devoted to potato cultivation in Hungary exceeded the 290,000 hectares, but last year it stood at only 13,500 hectares. The total volume harvested in last five years has fluctuated between the 350 and 450,000 tons, while the country’s total consumption amounts to 600,000 tons, so in a good year, the domestic production covers up to 75% of the demand, but this share has fallen to 60% in the worst ones.
This year, the prices have risen considerably. The trend started last summer, and in February prices were 66% higher than a year earlier. The situation is similar elsewhere in Europe. Recently we reported that the price of potatoes in 2018 grew by as much as 40%. Similarly, in the Czech Republic consumers are paying over 67% more for potatoes.
According to the source, last year, dry weather hit the whole European continent. 8.3m tons of potatoes were produced in the EU, which was comparable to Germany’s total production in the previous year.