It is quite obvious by now that Christmas will not be the same for many this year due to the economic crisis. One of the main causes of the tough economic climate was this year’s record-breaking drought. Not only did it take a toll on agricultural production but it also affected fish farms. Due to shortages in this staple food item, fish soup might become inaccessible for many during the winter.
In 2022, fish production had terrible yields — reports Hellovidék.hu based on the analysis of István Németh. The chairman of the Labour Union of Hungarian Aquaculture and Fishery gave insight into the grim factors that played a role in the unprecedented price surge. Compared to last year’s 12,000 fished specimens, this year’s catch was only about 8,000. There are roughly 2,200 fish farms in the country, and fishing is a popular hobby among locals. However, the historical drought jeopardised the future of these places.
Due to the small scale of the fish economy in the country, every change has a great impact on the prices. Fish prices soared in the past year, on average by 30 percent. The energy crisis also has an effect on the prices of fish because many lakes are controlled artificially. This means that electricity is needed to regulate water levels. As electricity prices rose, this became more costly for fish farms and fishing lakes.
Fortunately, African catfish and carp will be accessible to most people. However, the prices can even be 35-40 percent higher compared to last year. The price of carp will be around HUF 1,800-2,000 (EUR 4.5) per kilogram. The problem with other kinds of fish is much direr as there is not a sufficient amount of produce that would meet the country’s demand. While carp only becomes unaffordable pike, perch and grey catfish might be inaccessible altogether.
Forage for fish also became more expensive. The price of cereal and corn doubled in the past year which means that feeding fish became a lot harder. Due to the increased fuel prices, transportation costs also add up. A number of lakes have just dried up when refilling was not possible. The total water surface of fish farms had decreased by hundreds of hectares due to the droughts.
African catfish is already very expensive costing on average HUF 4,000 (EUR 9.5) per kilo. However, the previous forecast on the price of carp was also off, because it is already about HUF 3,500 (EUR 8.3) per kilo.