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Juice makers buy more Hungarian fruit in 2006

Hungary's juice makers have dramatically increased the amount of fruit they purchase from Hungarian growers this year, but juice prices are still expected to rise from early next year as the foreign content of products rises because of the weakening forint, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Thursday.

Sió-Eckes Kft, Hungary's biggest juice maker, has tripled the amount of fruit it purchases from Hungarian farmers this year, marketing manager Zoltán Körösvölgyi told the paper. The company has processed about 12,000 tons of peaches, apricots, cherries, pears, plums, apples and tomatoes, he said.
Rauch Hungária Kft expects to process 60%-70% more fruit grown in Hungary than in 2005, managing director Gábor Kardos said. Maspex Olympos Kft, the Hungarian unit of Polish juice maker Maspex, is processing 50% more Hungarian peaches this year than last year, managing director Róbert Mihalik said. Maspex uses its Hungarian unit as a "central peach processor" because of the high quality of local produce and exports the processed pulp to its other foreign units, he said. The company has processed about 4,000 tons of peaches and other fruits this year.
According to figures from market research company AC Nielsen, Sió-Eckes controls 24.2% of Hungary's juice market, Rauch 11.7% and Maspex Olympos has 9.7%.