Many typical Hungarian Christmas dishes will be difficult or even impossible to prepare this year. One of these is fish soup, which is a holiday staple in most Hungarian households. Now, with fish prices at an all-time high, that could change.
Fish at sky-high prices
Hungarian families will have to pay significantly more (40 percent more!) if they want fish on their Christmas menu. This is mainly because of the summer drought and the rise in feed prices. Nevertheless, traders say there will be enough fish for the holidays, which is good news at least.
Experts predict that the price of fish soup will be extremely high at Christmas. Not only has the price of fish risen, but the cost of ingredients has almost doubled since last year. The rise in fish prices has been driven by a 121-year drought that has left many lakes completely dry, Blikk reports.
Food price increase is probably our biggest problem
Index recently reported that according to the latest inflation figures, the abolition of the fuel cap may not be the biggest problem: consumer prices in November 2022 were on average 22.5 percent higher than a year earlier. Over the past year, household energy and food prices have risen the most. On average, consumer prices rose by 1.8 percent in one month. If we dig deeper into the inflation data, Index says, we can see that food prices have risen by 43.8 percent year-on-year.
Holidays are coming, people are looking for fish
“Compared to last year, there is a 30-40 percent price increase on the market, due to higher feed prices and fewer fish,” Gergely Kovács, the commercial director of Hortobágy Fish Farming Ltd. (Hortobágyi Halgazdasági Zrt), told ATV Híradó. The TV crew learned from the salespeople that the sale of the raw materials for the fish soup started at the beginning of the week. And, as the holidays approach, more and more people will be looking for live fish.
Zoltán Balkus, salesman, said that “the most sought-after fish are the basic fish, especially carp, crucian and bream. Due to the average price increase, we could expect that the price of carp would also increase”. ATV also found out that the price of carp is around HUF 2000 (EUR 4.77) per kilo this year. However, there is also bio catfish on the market that is offered to buyers for HUF 6,000 (EUR 14.31) per kilo.