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Changes in Agri-Food Trade of the New Member States since EU Accession – A Quantitative Approach

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  • Torok, Aron
  • Jambor, Attila

Abstract

In 2004 and 2007 twelve New Member States (NMS) joined the European Union (EU), causing several changes in the field of agriculture. One of the major changes was the transformation of national agri-food trade. The aim of the paper is to analyse the effects of EU accession on NMS agri-food trade, especially considering revealed comparative advantages. Results suggest that the intensity of NMS agri-food trade has increased significantly after accession, though there was a serious deterioration in NMS agri-food trade balance in most cases. It has also become evident that NMS agri-food trade was highly concentrated by country and by product, though concentration has not changed significantly after EU accession. Moreover, our analyses highlight one of the most important characteristics of NMS agri-food trade structure - the focus on agri-food raw materials in export together with agri-food processed products in import. As to NMS agri-food trade specialisation, the diversity among member states becomes apparent. Almost all countries experienced a decrease in their comparative advantage after accession, though it still remained at an acceptable level in most cases. As for the stability of comparative advantage, results suggest a weakening trend, underpinned by the convergence of the pattern of revealed comparative advantage. By estimating the survival function to the sample, it is observable that the accession has radically changed the survival time of agri-food trade, meaning that revealed comparative advantage has not turned out to be persistent in the period analysed. From the policy perspective, there is a clear need for structural changes in NMS agriculture and agri-food sector in order to tackle the negative tendencies of national agri-food trade. The most important long-term goal should be the production and export of higher value-added processed products based on domestic raw materials.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil with number 125140.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:125140

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Keywords: EU accession; agri-food trade; New Member States; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade; Q17; Q18;

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  1. Bent Dalum & Keld Laursen & Gert Villumsen, 1998. "Structural Change in OECD Export Specialisation Patterns: de-specialisation and 'stickiness'," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 423-443.
  2. Jeroen Hinloopen & Charles van Marrewijk, 2004. "Empirical Relevance of the Hillman Condition and Comparative Advantage," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-019/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Jambor, Attila, 2010. "Intra-industry trade of Hungarian agricultural products and the EU-accession," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, issue 111, March.
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