Traders are full of uncertainty about the maize harvest, with only a primary crop estimate of 3.1 million tons currently available. Meanwhile, annual domestic maize consumption is between 4 and 5 million tons.
The grain market is quiet at the moment, and the exchange of information is also blocked because the meeting scheduled for this week at the Ministry of Agriculture has been canceled. Traders can only estimate the size of the maize harvest, Zsófia Pótsa, secretary general of the Hungarian Grain and Feed Association, told Világgazdaság, a Hungarian economic site, adding that she could not remember a year when domestic demand had not been met.
This summer, a severe drought hit not only Hungary but virtually the whole of Europe, with disastrous effects on crops.
In addition, domestic grain prices have not kept pace with the world market, a situation exacerbated by the weakening of the forint, Világgazdaság writes. Hungarian prices are currently high compared to the world market, while 100,000 tons of maize arrive in Hungary every month, mainly from Ukraine, which is cheaper than domestic – but this has not brought prices down.
Meanwhile, the situation on the wheat market is also uncertain, with hardly any exports, which according to Zsófia Pótsa, is due to the fact that “the world’s most expensive commodity is difficult to sell.” According to Világgazdaság, high Hungarian wheat and maize prices are ultimately keeping the commodity at home.
For wheat, there is more than one million tons of excess domestic consumption in Hungary.
Although this figure is high, it is not as high as it usually is, as in normal years Hungary exported around 2.7 million tons abroad.
Featured photo: MTI/Rosta Tibor