Producer price and price transmission in a deregulated Ethiopian coffee market
Coffee producers in Ethiopia have historically received a very small share of the export price of green coffee. Reasons that are often mentioned are heavy government intervention and high marketing and processing costs. Prior to 1992, government regulation of the domestic coffee market in the form of fixed producer prices and the monopoly power of the Ethiopian Coffee Marketing Corporation put a substantial wedge between the producer price and the world price of coffee by imposing an implicit tax on producers. The domestic coffee marketing system in Ethiopia was liberalised after 1992, which was envisaged to have a positive effect on producer prices and price transmission signals from world markets to producers. This paper, with the help of Cointegration and Error-Correction Model (ECM), attempts to analyse its impact. As findings indicate, the reforms induced stronger long-run relationships among grower, wholesaler and exporter prices. The estimation of the ECM shows that the short-run transmission of price signals from world to domestic markets has improved, but has remained weak in both auction-to-world and producer-to-auction markets. This might be explained by the weak institutional arrangement coordinating the domestic coffee system and contract enforcement. In general, the domestic price adjusts more rapidly to world price changes today than it did prior to the reforms. However, there is an indication that negative price changes transmit much faster than positive ones.
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