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Grain intervention could attract great demand in Hungary

Grain intervention, due to start on November 2, is expected to attract considerable interest from farmers as the current intervention price, which could exceed HUF 27,700 per ton (€101.31) at the current exchange rate, is higher than both the Hungarian and the global market price, the business daily Világgazdaság reported on Thursday.

This year, farmers can offer wheat and barley crops for intervention purchases. Hungary's Agriculture Ministry plans to buy about 400,000 tons of barley and 100,000 tons of wheat offered for intervention stores, ministry press chief Lajos Soproni Horváth told MTI last week.

Because the current intervention price is more than the market price - and could grow further in November - many farmers are expected to offer their crops. Hungary's barley harvest reached 705,000 tons in 2009. The wheat harvest yielded 4.3 million tons.

State secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Zoltán Gőgös said farmers are expected to offer 2 million tons of wheat for intervention stores.

By October 26, only 674 hectares have been sown with wheat of the projected 1.09 million hectares. Due to low prices in crops trade, farmers can not finance production, managing director of the Planting Seeds Association Szabolcs Ruthner said. Hungarian farmers usually use classified seeds on 32%-33% of the sowing area, sowing seeds from their own production on the remainder; this percentage has been reduced to 25% this year, he said. As a result, and due to saving on pesticides as well, farmers can save up to 15% of production costs, but they run the risk of great losses next year if the weather turns out to be dry, head of the Grain Producers Association (GOSZ) József Váncsura said. (MTI-ECONEWS)