Animal Health And Price Transmission Along Livestock Supply Chains.
Published 2017 · Medicine, Biology
Animal health diseases can severely affect the food supply chain by causing variations in prices and market demand. Price transmission analysis reveals in what ways price variations are transmitted along the supply chain, and how supply chains of substitute products and different regional markets are also affected. In perfect markets, a price variation would be completely and instantaneously transmitted across the different levels of the supply chain: producers, the processing industry, retailers and consumers. However, empirical studies show that food markets are often imperfect, with anomalies or asymmetries in price transmission and distortions in the distribution of market benefits. This means, for instance, that a price increase at the consumer level may not be transmitted from retailers to processors and producers; yet, on the other hand, price falls may rapidly affect the upstream supply chain. Market concentration and the consequent exertion of market power in key segments of the supply chain can explain price transmission asymmetries and their distributional effects, but other factors may also be involved, such as transaction costs, scale economies, and imperfect information. During the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis, asymmetric price transmission in the beef supply chain and related meat markets determined distributional effects among sectors. After the spread of the BSE food scare, the fall in demand marginally affected the price paid to retailers, but producers and wholesalers suffered much more, in both price reductions and the time needed to recover to precrisis demand. Price transmission analysis investigates how animal health crises create different economic burdens for various types of stakeholder, and provides useful socioeconomic insights when used with other tools.