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Hungary farm sector set to contract 10%-12% in 2009

Kopint-Tárki sees Hungary's farm sector contracting 10%-12% in 2009, the economic research institute said in its latest agriculture survey published Thursday.

Farmgate prices are down about 20% this year, said senior researcher Márton Szabó. Farmers harvested about a quarter less wheat and potato and 3%-5% less produce, he added.

Hungary's farm exports fell 1.3% in volume terms in January-August. In value terms, exports were up 1.7% in forint terms, but down 11.7% in euro terms. Grain exports were down almost €200 million and revenue from oil seeds dropped more than €60 million. At the same time, food imports rose.

Hungary's food industry contracted 3.4% in January-August from the same period a year earlier.

Food prices for consumers are set to rise about 5% in 2009, well under the 11.5% and the 10.2% increases in 2008 and 2007, respectively. (MTI-Econews)