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Hungary cereal harvest falls almost 10% in 2010

Hungarian farmers harvested 12,266,000 tonnes of cereals in 2010, down 9.7% from a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) said on Wednesday.

The cereal harvest was 13.3% down from the average in 2005-2009.

Farmers brought in 3,764,000 tonnes of wheat, 14.8% less than a year earlier. Average yield per hectare fell just 3.4% to 3.72 tonnes but the area on which famers planted wheat declined by 11.8%.

The maize harvest slipped 7.5% to 6,967,000 tonnes. Average yield per hectare rose 2.7% to 6.57 tonnes, but the area on which maize was sown dropped 9.9%.

The sugar beet harvest inched up 2.4% to 754,000 tonnes from a year earlier but was down a sharp 68% from the average in 2005-2009. Almost all of Hungary's sugar refineries were shut down after the 2007 season, when the EU slashed sugar price subsidies and offered farmers and refineries incentives to get out of the business.

The sunflower harvest fell 21.4% to 987,000 tonnes and the rape seed harvest fell 3.4% to 560,000 tonnes.

Farmers harvested 440,000 tonnes of potatoes in 2010, down 21.5% from a year earlier. (MTI Econews)