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Tracing The Effects Of Agricultural Commodity Prices On Food Processing Costs

Listed author(s):
  • Morrison Paul, Catherine J.
  • MacDonald, James M.

Although food processing sector production is inherently linked to the availability and prices of agricultural materials (MA), this link appears to be weakening due to adaptations in input costs, technology, and food consumption patterns. This study assesses the roles of these changes on food processors costs and output prices, with a focus on the demand for primary agricultural commodities. Our analysis of the 4-digit U.S. food processing industries for 1972-1992 is based on a cost-function framework, augmented by a profit maximization specification of output pricing, and a virtual price representation for agricultural materials and capital. We find that falling virtual prices of MA and input substitution have provided a stimulus for MA demand. However, scale effects have been MA-saving relative to intermediate food products, and disembodied technical change has strongly contributed to declining primary agricultural materials demand relative to most other inputs.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/11987
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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11987.

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Date of creation: 2000
Handle: RePEc:ags:ucdavw:11987
Contact details of provider: Phone: 530-752-1517
Fax: 530-752-5614
Web page: http://www.agecon.ucdavis.edu/

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  1. Fulginiti, Lilyan E & Perrin, Richard K, 1993. "Prices and Productivity in Agriculture," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 471-482, August.
  2. Morrison Paul, Catherine J., 2000. "Cost Economies and Market Power in U.S. Beef Packing," Monographs, University of California, Davis, Giannini Foundation, number 11934.
  3. V. Eldon Ball & Robert G. Chambers, 1982. "An Economic Analysis of Technology in the Meat Products Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 64(4), pages 699-709.
  4. Catherine J. Morrison, 1997. "Structural Change, Capital Investment and Productivity in the Food Processing Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 110-125.
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