Hungary's winemakers exported almost as much wine in the first half of 2005 as in all of last year, putting a big dent in the country's wine surplus, department head at the Prime Minister's Office Balázs Tarján said at an event organized by winegrowers. Customs figures show 630,000 hectoliters of wine was exported in the first half of 2005, nearly as much as the 730,000 hectoliters exported in all of 2004, Tarján said. Hungary's winegrowers are expected to produce 2.5 million-3 million hectoliters of wine this year, less than in earlier years. The smaller harvest and more exports have significantly reduced winegrowers stocks, Tarján said. He noted that just 80,000 hectoliters of wine have been offered by winegrowers for distillation into spirits, well under the 500,000 hectoliters allowed under the EU quota. Tarján noted that next year, an Ft 8 per liter contribution will replace the excise duty on wine, with 60% of the proceeds from the contribution going toward marketing and 40% being used to better enforce the exclusion of cheap counterfeit wine from the market.
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