The Evaluation of Tomato Production in Glasshouses in Hungary

Ehretné Berczi, Ildikó – Isépy, Anett – Németh, Szilvia – Varga, Viktória

Keywords: vegetables, foreign trade, price analysis, geothermal energy, investment, Q10

With the use of adequate technologies the production of tomatoes can last all year round. In Hungary, the all year round tomato production is done in glasshouses, but the technologies used and infrastructure show significant differences: some glasshouses have equipment that is over ten years old, while those built in the last couple of years already have the newest technologies. The cost of building a new glasshouse can reach up to HUF 30 thousand per m2. Production technology has a high influence on the production costs: a high-tech production system can incur production costs that are 41 per cent higher than in heated medium-level greenhouses, while the production costs for an unheated greenhouses are 57 per cent lower than for heated greenhouses. The vast majority of the European Union (EU) trade in tomatoes takes place between the Member States. The EU was a net importer of tomatoes between 2009 and 2014. Most third country imports come from Morocco. From the total exports of the EU only a small proportion goes outside the border of the EU, mostly to Russia. Hungary is a net tomato importer. Most of the tomatoes come to Hungary mainly from Spain. The most important export destination of the Hungarian tomato was Austria in 2014. In the examined period the producer prices of truss tomatoes in Hungary was higher than the average of the European prices. In the reportable countries of the EU (except the Netherlands) the price of truss tomatoes increased in 2014 compared to the previous year, nonetheless the average price remained below the figure for 2010. On the representative market (i.e. the Budapest Wholesale Market) the supply of domestic truss tomatoes is continuous. However, owing to the seasonality the prices are higher in the winter months because of scarce supply and increased production costs. The wholesale prices of the imported produce are substantially lower than of the year-round domestic product. Imported tomatoes are available all year except during the summer months.