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Hungary wooly pig stock steady in spite of economy

The number of sows of the Hungarian mangalitsa breed, a wooly pig prized for its marbled meat and high quality fat, remained steady around 8,000 in 2010, in spite of the difficult economic circumstances, chairman of the National Mangalitsa Association Péter Tóth said.

Between 50,000 and 60,000 mangalitsa hogs were slaughtered in 2010, Tóth said, speaking at a press conference before the 4th Mangalitsa Festival. About 20,000 were slaughtered in big plants and 30,000 on small farms, he added.

Mangalitsa accounted for about 2% of all hogs slaughtered in Hungary last year but the segment generated revenue of HUF 4 billion-5 billion, Tóth said. Products made with Mangalitsa cost about twice as much as those made from conventional breeds, he added.

About half of mangalitsa products, about a thousand tons, are exported, to Spain, Japan and other EU member states.

Tóth said his company Ólmos and Tóth, one of the country's biggest mangalitsa producers, had revenue of about HUF 1.5 billion in 2010, up 10-15% from 2009. This year, the company sees revenue rising to HUF 1.6 billion.

Ólmos and Tóth exports about 65% of its output, nearly all to Spain.

The 4th Mangalitsa Festival will be held in the Vajdahunyad castle in Budapest's City Park on February 4-6. (MTI – Econews)