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The Structural Change in the Supply Chain of Oil Palm – A Case of North Sumatra Province, Indonesia


  • Nakajima, Toru
  • Matsuda, H.
  • Rifin, Amzul


In this paper, we analyze the structural change in the supply chain of oil palm in North Sumatra, Indonesia, especially after the financial crisis of the late 20th century. We first describe the past and present market structure and conduct of oil palm industries in North Sumatra with an industrial organization approach based on our field study. The analysis reveals that the supply chain of oil palm in North Sumatra has changed such that farmers had more power to determine FFB prices over crushing companies, especially from 2001 through 2004. However, farmers lost bargaining power during 2007-2008 due to a decrease in palm oil demand, plunging of palm oil prices, and a regulation imposed upon crushing companies by the Ministry of Agriculture. To analyze such structural changes empirically, we test the existence of Asymmetric Price Transmission (APT), in which the speed of adjustments of the output price after the input price increases or decreases is different; the existence of APT implies the existence of market power. We apply the (Momentum) Threshold Autoregressive ((M-)TAR) model to estimate APT. According to the estimation results, crushing companies had more power to determine FFB prices over farmers until around March 2002. This situation changed such that farmers had more bargaining power from around April 2002 to around April 2007 before the power became balanced. The structural change test also shows these time points as optimal structural change points. The APT estimation, however, has little rigorous theoretical background, and the concept of APT is not necessarily related to market power. Hence, we next analyze the market power of crushers and farmers both theoretically and empirically. The estimation result of market power indicates that the farmers had no market power before the third quarter of 2002, but they did have market power from the next quarter to the first quarter of 2008, after which time they again lose market power. These empirical results are consistent both with each other and with the descriptions of the structural change. Finally, we conclude and draw some implications for farmers, crushers, and consumers of palm oil.

Suggested Citation

  • Nakajima, Toru & Matsuda, H. & Rifin, Amzul, 2010. "The Structural Change in the Supply Chain of Oil Palm – A Case of North Sumatra Province, Indonesia," 116th Seminar, October 27-30, 2010, Parma, Italy 95206, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa116:95206

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hassan, Daniel & Simioni, Michel, 2002. "Price Linkage and Transmission between Shippers and Retailers in the French Fresh Vegetable Channel," 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain 24794, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Kovenock, Dan & Widdows, Kealoha, 1998. "Price leadership and asymmetric price rigidity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 167-187, February.
    3. Raymond J. Deneckere & Dan Kovenock, 1992. "Price Leadership," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 143-162.
      • Raymond Deneckere & Dan Kovenock, 1988. "Price Leadership," Discussion Papers 773, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Jochen Meyer & Stephan Cramon-Taubadel, 2004. "Asymmetric Price Transmission: A Survey," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 581-611.
    5. Enders, Walter & Siklos, Pierre L, 2001. "Cointegration and Threshold Adjustment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(2), pages 166-176, April.
    6. Michel Simioni & Frédéric Gonzales & Patrice Guillotreau & Laurent Le Grel, 2013. "Detecting Asymmetric Price Transmission with Consistent Threshold along the Fish Supply Chain," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 61(1), pages 37-60, March.
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