November 21, 2005


Hungary's record corn crop brings storage and trade problems



Hungary will see a bumper corn crop this year at over 9 million tonnes, which raises problems with storage and trade capacities, the country's agriculture ministry state secretary Fulop Benedek told the press Friday.


Harvesting has been finished on more than 80 percent of the total planted area and the average yield is at 7.7 tonnes/hectare, Benedek said.


The ministry expects storage capacity issues to arise as harvesting nears its end.


Storage problems are further aggravated by a serious lack of rail cars at the Hungarian national railway MAV Rt., a shortage that has nearly crippled Hungary's wheat and corn exports. In July-September 2005, grain exports stood at an average 300,000 tonnes/month but this figure has shrivelled to 150,000 tonnes in November as a result of rail car shortages, Benedek said.


MAV is currently looking to lease rail cars from neighbouring countries to ease the burden on exporters who have repeatedly voiced their anger over missing delivery deadlines.


Hungarian producers have offered nearly 1 million tonnes of grain for EU intervention Nov 1-15, of which wheat was about 396,000 tonnes and corn slightly less, at about 393,000 tonnes, Benedek said.


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