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Bird flu impacts Hungarian trade surplus

Hungaryʼs external trade in goods saw a EUR 440 million surplus in August, down EUR 119 mln year-on-year, according to a first release of data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). In the first seven months of this year, poultry exports fell by 16.6% due to a bird flu outbreak, impacting the headline figure.

In August 2017 compared to the same month of the previous year, exports rose 10.3% year-on-year to EUR 7.944 billion, while imports were up 13.0% at EUR 7.504 bln, according to the KSH.

About 79% of exports and 76% of imports were traded with European Union member states.

The trade surplus reached EUR 5.574 bln for January-August, down a little over EUR 1.1 bln from the same eight-month period of 2016. Exports were up 9.3% at EUR 66.52 bln, while imports rose 12.5% to EUR 60.945 bln.

Cited as a significant factor in the declining surplus, an outbreak of bird flu early this year caused Hungarian poultry exports to fall by 16.6% in January-July, to 105,000 tons, according to figures released by the Agriculture Research Institute (AKI), cited by economic news portal vg.hu. Most poultry was exported to Romania, Austria and Germany. At the same time, imports rose by 84%, to 42,000 tons, most coming from Poland, Germany and Austria.

The KSH will publish a second reading of August data on November 2, with a first estimate of September data to follow on November 8.