Economic analysis of the meat supply chain
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Recently, the meat supply chain has undergone a number of structural changes including increased concentration and a greater degree of quasi-vertical integration coordinated through contract procurement. The effects these changes have had on the meat supply chain, arranged as a complex array of producers, processors, distributors, and retailers, are not yet known. This study investigates the motives for, and consequences of, recent changes in the meat supply chain. The first essay examines causality among variables in the U.S. cattle supply chain using temporal and contemporaneous causality methodologies. Tests for structural changes reveal a likely structural change between later 1996 and early 1997 that was likely induced by the turnaround of the U.S. cattle inventory accompanied with severe droughts in Midwest. Results suggest that overall temporal causalities in the U.S. cattle supply chain become weaker after the structural change, though relatively strong causalities are found in pre-break periods. In contrast, strong contemporaneous causal relationships are founded in post-break periods. One conclusion is that recent structural changes in the industry are resulting in more rapid transmission of information through the supply chain. Causal evidence also suggests that the direction of information transmission has changed in recent times from moving generally downstream to moving generally upstream. This might be the result of increased concentration at the packer and retail levels giving rise to increased ability to “set” prices. The second essay develops a theoretical model to investigate the dynamic effects of the contract procurement on packer competition in the spot market with general contract pricing scheme. Results indicate that packers have an incentive to consider the effects of spot market purchases on contract procurement even after accounting for hedonic characteristics of live cattle and risk aversion in cattle feeding operations. The third essay investigates the impacts of domestic and overseas animal disease outbreaks on the Korean meat supply chain. Market impacts are investigated using both forecasts and historical decomposition of price innovations based on an error correction model (ECM) of the Korean meat sector. Results indicate that while the affected markets suffered significantly from the outbreaks, the impacts seem temporary and substitute meat markets benefited significantly.
Park, Moon-Soo (2008). Economic analysis of the meat supply chain. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from