The Hungarian agri-food economy: aggregate foreign trade performance following the
Keywords: agricultural foreign trade, competitiveness indicators, relative comparative advantages
This study explores the performance of foreign trade of the Hungarian agri-food economy in the EU-15 markets following Hungary’s accession to the EU. Analysis of foreign trade performance is one of the key areas of competitiveness studies. There are several models and indicators for measuring competitiveness. Based on the Comext database available for the period of 2000-2008, the author used the following indicators to examine the foreign trade performance of the Hungarian agri-food economy: terms of trade, a concentration indicator, a classical Grubel-Lloyd index and a simple RCA indicator.
In comparison with the preceding three years, the terms of trade for the agri-food economy’s foreign trade were more favourable in the period from 2006 to 2008. The concentration index (H-index) of agricultural exports and imports has been decreasing since 2004, but agricultural imports have remained more concentrated. The weight of intra-industry trade (GL-index) has mostly increased in the EU-15 markets, but figures vary significantly between member states and product groups. Revealed comparative advantage index (RCA) values generally decreased after 2004. Increasing comparative advantage levels were observed for cereals and cereal products, whereas other product groups (live animals, meat and meat preparations, dairy products and birds’ eggs, vegetables and fruits) showed decreasing comparative advantages. For certain product groups comparative disadvantages became more prevalent (beverages) or its rate increased (coffee, tea, cocoa, spices).