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Weak forint seen denting car imports

The weakening of the Hungarian forint compared to foreign currencies is raising the cost of importing used cars from abroad, which could lead to buyers postponing purchases and waiting for the local currency to strengthen, the National Association of Hungarian Car Dealers (MGOE) said Monday.

János Balázs Borka, the associationʼs communications director and  CEO of Magyar Autókereskedőház Zrt., was cited by state news wire MTI as saying that from the end of June to the start of July the forint weakened from 310.49 to above 330 against the euro. (The local currency traded at 322.86 to the euro at 10 a.m. on Mondayʼs interbank market.)

As Hungarians are looking to buy used cars for between HUF 0.7 million and HUF 2 mln, Borka said, this could lead to prices rising by HUF 42,000 to HUF 120,000 on average, as much as 7-9% of the total value of the vehicle.  

In some cases, he added, imports carried out on demand could be HUF 2 mln more expensive, leading consumers to put off purchases.