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Russian embargo hurts Hungary less by year

Retail

Businesses in Hungarian agriculture are not expecting market mayhem due to the Russian embargo on EU food products extended until the end of next year, as new channels have been established for selling their goods, Hungarian government-friendly daily Magyar Idők reports.

The meat industry has been chiefly affected by the Russian embargo on imports from the European Union, as products looking for new markets made prices plummet and Hungarian pig farmers suffered greatly from this, said Lászlóné Menczel, the secretary of VHT, the Hungarian slaughter animal and meat product council. However, by today the situation has normalized, as bigger West European members export their products to China, increasing the purchase prices of living animals, she added.

The milk industry has similarly been affected, according to Tibor Mélykuti, president of the Milk Product Council. He said that the years 2015 and 2016 saw a crisis in the industry, but the market revived in the second half of last year, chiefly due to the pickup in Chinese demand. He added that although the outlook is good, the cancellation of the Russian embargo would ensure secure demand would arise for EU products.

As far as fruit and vegetables are concerned, the embargo has primarily hurt Polish products, which have flooded Europe and affected prices here. But as new markets have been established, and Polish farmers export to the U.S. and Canada, the situation here, too, has normalized, according to Ferenc Ledó, the president of FruitVeB, the Hungarian fruit and vegetable association and product council.

Meanwhile, thanks to new developments in Russia, the country is becoming more or less self-sufficient, Hungarian online news portal index.hu reported. Even if the embargo was removed, Russian markets would probably no longer need EU products, Ledó said.

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