The energy crisis has a toll on every sector in the world. As energy prices rise, storing vegetables gets more and more costly. It is well known that keeping vegetables requires special facilities. But using these has become too expensive and many farmers would just sell their harvests as quickly as they can. This means that many Hungarian products can disappear from the shelves by the end of the year.
Although there are too many vegetables as of now, this does not mean that agriculture is booming. In fact, this is a sign of how terrible the current situation is. In previous years, the agricultural sector struggled because of the unpredictable weather. So, there is no real excess in vegetables, but farmers struggle to store even this limited amount.
Many farmers cannot afford to store their products for a long time. Every winter, vegetables become more expensive because the storage costs are also included in the price, said Ferenc Ledó, an expert at VG.hu. The winter will be critical as the energy crisis increases storage costs by a large margin. Most of the farmers ponder whether it is even worth it to store the vegetables or not. It might be better if they just sold their products right away after harvest, explained the expert.
There is also the problem of inflation. The price hikes in the summer were still manageable, but in the winter, most customers will not be able to afford the more expensive vegetables. Therefore, the farmers rightfully fear that by next year they would not be able to sell their products if they have to contain this year’s storage costs too. This mostly affects root vegetables, onions and potatoes, of which the yields were not great this year anyway.
Now every farmer wants to sell their products, but they still have a bit of time left. In simple storage facilities, vegetables can be stored without quality loss until Christmas. After this, however, the storing of these items would require special cooling facilities. These are not widely available in Hungary, but even those who have these facilities think twice about using them as they are very expensive to operate now. But the vegetable dumping on the market will not cause significant price drops and there will be certainly no oversupply. This year’s yields were very bad all over Europe, therefore, competition is lacking, which would lower the prices.