World Grain News: Hungary's wheat crop cut by poor weather

by Teresa Acklin
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   BUDAPEST, HUNGARY — Heavy rains and hail at harvest time in Hungary have rapidly deteriorated the country's 1999 wheat crop prospects.

   The government estimated the outturn within a range of 2.6 million to 2.7 million tonnes, down sharply from the mid-June forecast of 3.5 million tonnes and the 1998 harvest of 5 million tonnes. The recent peak was 5.3 million tonnes in 1997.

   Since Hungary has exported about 1.6 million tonnes annually in recent years, the crop shortfall also indicated a drop in exports.

   In addition, domestic prices have climbed, posing the likelihood of higher flour and bread prices. Similar damage was sustained by the 1999 barley crop, and feed grain prices have risen 40% above a year earlier.