IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Former Central European Free Trade Agreement countries’ agri-food trade specialisation


  • Bojnec, Stefan
  • Ferto, Imre


The paper evaluates agri-food trade competitiveness and specialisation patterns of the former Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA-7) countries compared with the European Union (EU-15) from 1995-2007. Agri-food trade specialisation stability and duration are investigated by main agri-food product groups according to the degree of product processing and dynamics in the demand growth exhibited by the EU-15 market. Except for Poland and Hungary, the former CEFTA-7 countries face a trade deficit in agri-food products with the EU-15 markets. The former CEFTA-7 agri-food exports to EU-15 markets are specialised towards higher-value, processed, consumer-ready food as a result of agri-food sector restructuring and integration to more competitive EU markets. The former CEFTA-7 agri-food export specialisation towards the EU-15 markets’ most demanded products is also revealed. The results confirm that EU integration increases size of trade, stability, and the duration of former CEFTA-7 agri-food trade products on EU-15 markets. Dieser Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit der Wettbewerbsfähigkeit im Handel mit Agrar- und Ernährungsgütern sowie mit Spezialisierungsmustern der früher im Mitteleuropäischen Freihandelsabkommen (CEFTA-7) zusammengeschlossenen Länder im Vergleich zur Europäischen Union (EU-15) für den Zeitraum 1995-2007. Stabilität und Dauer von Handelsspezialisierungen werden anhand von Hauptproduktgruppen entsprechend dem Verarbeitungsgrad und der Dynamik des Nachfrageanstiegs auf dem EU-15-Markt unter-sucht. Mit Ausnahme von Polen und Ungarn sind die ehemaligen CEFTA-7-Länder mit einem Handelsdefizit an Agrarprodukten auf den EU-15-Märkten konfrontiert. Die Agrarexporte der ehemaligen CEFTA-7-Länder können als höherwertige, verarbeitete, verbrauchsfertige Nahrungsmittel bezeichnet werden. Dies ist sicherlich das Ergebnis der Umstrukturierung und Integration in die wettbewerbsfähigeren EU-Märkte. Außerdem wird aufgezeigt, welches die auf den EU-15-Märkten am meisten nachgefragten Produkte sind und wie sich die CEFTA-7-Länder auf diese Agrarexporte spezialisiert haben. Die Ergebnisse bestätigen, dass die EU-Integration den Handelsumfang und die Stabilität der Agrarprodukte der ehemaligen CEFTA-7-Länder auf den EU-15-Märkten erhöht.

Suggested Citation

  • Bojnec, Stefan & Ferto, Imre, 2009. "Former Central European Free Trade Agreement countries’ agri-food trade specialisation," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 58(8).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:gjagec:134888

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lemoine, Francoise & Unal-Kesenci, Deniz, 2004. "Assembly Trade and Technology Transfer: The Case of China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 829-850, May.
    2. Luca DE BENEDICTIS & Massimo TAMBERI, 2002. "A note on the Balassa Index of Revealed Comparative Advantage," Working Papers 158, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    3. 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.
    4. Andrea Zaghini, 2005. "Evolution of trade patterns in the new EU member states," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(4), pages 629-658, October.
    5. Å tefan Bojnec & Imre FertÅ, 2007. "The Catching-Up Process of European Enlargement: Hungarian and Slovenian Agricultural, Food, and Forestry Trade," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(5), pages 5-34, September.
    6. Bojnec, Stefan & Ferto, Imre, 2009. "Agro-food trade competitiveness of Central European and Balkan countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 417-425, October.
    7. Thomas Vollrath, 1991. "A theoretical evaluation of alternative trade intensity measures of revealed comparative advantage," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 127(2), pages 265-280, June.
    8. Michele Alessandrini & Bassam Fattouh & Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2007. "The changing pattern of foreign trade specialization in Indian manufacturing," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 270-291, Summer.
    9. Imre Fertö, 2005. "Vertically Differentiated Trade and Differences in Factor Endowment: The Case of Agri-Food Products between Hungary and the EU," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 117-134.
    10. Nuno Crespo & Maria Paula Fontoura, 2007. "Integration of CEECs into EU Market: Structural Change and Convergence," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45, pages 611-632, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:gjagec:134888. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.