Agricultural output for 2014 corresponded to the expectations of the Ministry of Agriculture, despite the fact that it was influenced by several unfavourable foreign trade and foreign affairs processes. The favourable advancements achieved in previous years maintained their growth curve with regard to both agricultural GDP and import-export figures.

Sector output in Q4 of 2014 continued on its growth trajectory, contributing to a 12.6 percent increase in agricultural added value volume for the whole year. As a result, the sector was responsible for 0.5 percent of the economy’s total growth of 3.6 percent. Agriculture’s 4.4 percent share of gross added value was unchanged from the previous year. In the background of these favourable processes are extremely high production quantities of arable crops and fruits, with record harvests of maize, sunflower and rape, and high quantities of wheat, sugar beet, potato, apple and sour cherry. In addition, the output of the animal husbandry sector also increased significantly in 2014 (especially the pig, poultry, sheep and milk sectors), with stocks of pigs, chickens, ducks and turkeys also increasing.

The EUR 7796 million export level fell 2.6 percent (EUR 205 million) short of the 2013 figure, while imports increased to EUR 4666 million (+4.5 percent, + EUR 201 million). As a result, the foreign trade balance was reduced to EUR 3130 million, which is 11.5 percent (EUR 407 million) less than in 2013. However, both exports and the foreign trade balance remained high, increasing by 33.4 percent and 46.8 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2014.

The primary reason for the drop in export value in 2014 is the reduction in prices, in view of the fact that export volume increased by 5 percent.

Agricultural products were responsible for 9.2 percent of exports within the national economy, and 6.0 percent of imports. The agricultural economy contributed 49 percent to the national economy’s trade surplus in 2014.

The main reasons for the decrease in exports in 2014 are as follows. Large quantities of goods remained within the EU as a result of the Russian embargo, which led to a reduction in prices within the unified market. In addition to the Russian embargo, a reduction in Chinese demand and increased production on the part of the world’s largest producers were also responsible for a decrease in the price of milk on the world market. With regard to wheat, maize, rape and sunflower, which constitute a significant part of Hungary’s agricultural exports, worldwide production was high, which led to a decrease in the price of both the abovementioned products and the related product sectors (especially vegetable oils and meats). Furthermore, the decrease in the price of crude oil also contributed to a reduction in the price of cereals and oil crops.

Conflicting processes were observed within exports in 2014. Exports of various food products, food industry by-products, processed feeds, fresh and processed meats, confectionery products, oilseeds and fresh vegetables increased significantly, while the decrease in total exports is primarily explained by the export of vegetable oils, and especially of rape and sunflower oil.

The distribution of exports according to processing level also changed favourably in 2014. The ratio of highly processed products increased by 6 percent compared to 2010, that of primarily processed products increased by 1 percent in comparison to the same year, while raw materials contributed 7 percent less to agricultural exports.

(Ministry of Agriculture)