“Hungarian wine-growers are expected to harvest a total of 550 thousand tons from a wine-growing area of 62 thousand hectares”, the Minister of State for Agriculture said at Soltvadkert at the 10th St. Martin’s day new wine celebration. Zsolt Feldman added that the average yield per hectare was almost 1.5 times that of the previous year.

According to Mr. Feldman, although wine prices have lagged somewhat behind those in 2017, the significantly higher average yield could compensate producers for that. According to reports, viticulturists concluding longer-term wine purchase agreements sell their crop more safely, the Minister of State added. The record wine grape harvest is expected to be followed by an exceptionally large quantity of wine being produced: according to the preliminary calculations, as much as 3.8 million hectolitres of wine may be produced in the country, an unprecedented quantity for recent years. This positive image is overshadowed somewhat by the fact that the EU also expects the biggest wine harvest in five years (of 175.6 million hl), exceeding the 2017 figure by 22.1%. Hungarian wine exports keep growing year on year: while in 2011, 613 thousand hectolitres entered the foreign markets, by 2017 the corresponding quantity was 984 thousand hectolitres. Concurrently, imports fell from 790 thousand to 195 thousand hectolitres over the same period, the Minister of State explained.

Mr. Feldman also said that the government supports domestic viticulture and wine-making activities under several budget items, such as the National Wine-grape Support Programme – including assistance to restructuring vineyards and the distillation of by-products – and the vinification plant modernisation, new vine plantation and value-adding investment chapter of the Rural Development Programme. The Minister of State added that the objective of the Ministry of Agriculture is to execute the grape-wine sector strategy adopted in 2006, to create well-positioned community brands, ensure a value increase on external markets, further reduce administrative burdens and take a definite stand to protect Hungarian interests during the reform of the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy.

(Ministry of Agriculture Press Office)