Due to the impact of spring frosts and dry weather, Hungary's plum harvest this year will amount to between 23,000 and 32,000 tons, which is significantly below the average of 65,000 tons per year, report the Hungarian Fruit and Vegetable Interprofessional Organization (FruitVeB) and the National Chamber of Agriculture (NAK).
As Napi.hu wrote earlier, 50-80 percent of the Hungarian fruit production was destroyed. Fruit growers suffered significant frost damage in late March, April, and even in May in some districts.
In addition to the damage caused by the cold, the extremely dry weather in late winter and early spring has exacerbated the situation in most production areas. This year's plum season started in the first half of July in the earlier ripening areas of southern and central Hungary with the earliest varieties (Katinka, Cacanska Rana, Topfive), but only small volumes have reached the market so far. The peak of the domestic plum season is typically reached in late July with the harvest of the Casanska Lepotica and Stanley varieties, which account for 60 percent of the entire production.
Plums are grown on 6,400 hectares in Hungary. The most significant growing areas are located in the Bács-Kiskun, Pest and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg counties. The three counties account for nearly 70 percent of the domestic production area.
75-80 percent of the domestic plum production is typically sold on the domestic market, and about 20-25 percent is exported. Half of the crop is used by the processing industry and the other half goes to the fresh market.