Global commodity price peaks and governmental interventions: The case of the wheat-to-bread supply chain in Serbia - Who benefited and who lost?
We analyze how the governmental market interventions during the commodity price peaks 2007/2008 and 2010/2011 have affected the transmission of price changes along the wheat-to-bread supply chain in Serbia. We aim to investigate if consumers benefitted from the wheat and flour export restrictions, which were supplemented by governmental wheat purchases in the domestic market, or if other members along the supply chain were able to gain advantage. Our analysis of price dynamics between wheat and flour prices within a Markov Switching Vector Error Correction Model suggests that the mills increased their margin and thus profits in the aftermath of the governmental interventions. The simulation of bread production costs makes evident that bakeries and even more retailers profited substantially from the crisis policy. We find that consumers benefitted from the governmental interventions only to a limited degree and experienced overall welfare losses. Compared with laissez-faire policy, the bread price increase was dampened by the governmental market interventions only at the beginning of the crisis. The additional strong bread price increase in April 2008 indirectly resulted from the governmental wheat purchases from the Serbian market.
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