Hungarian fruit growers have had a tough season this year. However, there is some hope that things might take a turn for the better for at least one of the nation’s struggling varieties. Farmers in the plum growing business are hoping that this year, they might just finally be able to finish a good harvest and sell their produce at a reasonable price.
Plum growing has been struggling in the whole of the EU for years. The latest sectoral report of the Institute of Agricultural Economics (AKI) states that, based on Eurostat data, the EU’s total plum farming area decreased from 220,000 hectares in 2000 to 154,000 ha by 2020. In 2020 alone, the EU produced 25% fewer plums than it had a year before.
Last year, Hungary produced 27,000 tons from its 7,060 ha of plum orchards; culminating in the worst harvest in two decades. While the country normally exports between 1,400 and 7,600 tons of plums, primarily to Germany, the harvest in 2020 was so bad that Hungary’s net export in plums dipped into negative figures, and domestic traders actually had to import the fruit from abroad.
Still, farmers are optimistic. They say that usually there is a lot of demand for plums at local markets, and consumer prices are reasonable there.