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Blue poppy seeds: the outlook in Hungary is bleak

August 10, 2022 at 4:48 PM , Der AUDITOR
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BUDAPEST/CHRUDIM. While crop estimates in the Czech Republic have improved slightly compared to earlier forecasts, the mood on the Hungarian blue poppy seed market has reached zero. Meanwhile, the new EU regulation is causing concern among market players in all growing countries.

EU regulation affects all market players

The mood on the blue poppy seed market is currently very subdued. Although the crop outlook in the Czech Republic has improved slightly compared to earlier reports and some market players expect a volume of a good 18,000 mt, growers and producers are nevertheless concerned about the new EU regulation that came into force on 1 July. This regulates the opium alkaloid content in poppy seeds. There are differences in prices depending on the supplier, but the prices for the new crop are significantly higher than the prices for the old crop.

Standstill in Hungary

Market players in Hungary are particularly pessimistic this year. On request of the AUDITOR editorial team, they report that the blue poppy seed trade there has practically reached zero and the enquiries do not even correspond to a tenth of the usual quantity. Besides the new EU regulation, the poor economic situation and the tense geopolitical situation are said to be the main reasons for the trade standstill. Growers are reportedly withdrawing more and more from the sector and the Hungarian crop is said to be just one third of the average. Normally, this would have led to an increase in imports, but the hopelessness of market players and the almost non-existent demand have prevented this from happening this year. "I don't know what's coming, but the signs are not pretty," explains one frustrated market player.

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