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Hungary's meat industry contracts in 2010

The past year of the meat industry could not be described as a success story, according to Tamás Éder, head of the Hungarian Meat Industry Association (MHSz) who summarized the industry's performance at the association’s annual press conference.

In 2010, despite expectations, the hog stock continued to decline, currently it fairly reaches 3 million pieces. Overall 520,000 tons of livestock was sold. 113,000 hogs have been cut in slaughterhouses across the country, a 7% increase year-on-year. 20% of the hogs slaughtered came from abroad, the ratio of import hog overall rose by 40% while export rose by 50%.

The country’s foreign trade balance dropped in quantity, but increased in value. When it comes to export, Hungary remains to be a raw material importer and a product exporter. According to multi-source statistics (KSH, AKII, EU), Hungarian meat prices are still above the EU average, making it more costly for producers to operate profitably and thus promoting the import of meat.

Gross productivity of meat industry fell as well. Meat processors had revenue of about HUF 320 billion last year, Éder said. Exports jumped 50% and accounted for about 30% of total revenue. Domestic sales fell 3-4%. Based on the results, the MHSz estimates 2010 was another loss-making year in the industry.