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Hungary Table of Contents


Trade Volume and Structure

Total trade turnover, at 1986 prices, rose from US$13.4 billion in 1981 to US$18.8 billion in 1986. Hungary's exports increased from US$6.5 billion to US$9.2 billion in the same period, while its imports increased from US$6.9 billion to US$9.6 billion.

The principal imports were crude oil, coal, iron ore, copper, raw materials for the plastics industry, chemical fibers, artificial fertilizers, paper, cotton, animal feed, and capital and consumer goods. Raw materials, semifinished goods, and spare parts accounted for 44.8 percent of imports in 1986. Energy imports increased from 6 percent of total imports in 1970 to 19.4 percent in 1986 (see table 11, Appendix).

Hungary's main exports included agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, bauxite, machine tools, buses, telecommunications and electronic equipment, lighting equipment, industrial rubber goods, ball bearings, rolled steel and aluminum, clothing, and footwear. In 1986 raw materials, semifinished goods, and spare parts accounted for 30.2 percent of exports. Exports of machinery, transport equipment, and capital goods increased from 16.7 percent of total exports in 1970 to 30 percent in 1986. Likewise, agricultural exports rose from 7.4 percent of total exports in 1970 to 20.1 percent in 1986. Grain exports increased from an average of about 1 million tons a year from 1976-80 to nearly 2.2 million tons in 1986. Meat exports also rose, from an average of 285,000 tons a year from 1976-80 to 421,000 tons in 1986 (see table 12, Appendix).

Tourism enhanced Hungary's hard-currency balance sheet. The number of foreign tourists visiting Hungary rose from 4 million in 1984 to 10.6 million in 1986, including 2 million from noncommunist countries. Tourist spending netted Hungary about US$371 million in 1986. Most visitors came from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria, and Yugoslavia; approximately 117,000 Americans visited the country in 1985. About 6.3 million Hungarians traveled abroad in 1986, mostly in Eastern Europe. In 1988 the government further eased restrictions on its citizens' foreign travel.

Data as of September 1989