Title page for ETD etd-07232009-085435

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Chen, Wei
Author's Email Address chenw@vt.edu
URN etd-07232009-085435
Title Three Essays on Price Analysis of Summer Flounder and China's Soybean Imports
Degree PhD
Department Agricultural and Applied Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Daniel B. Taylor Committee Co-Chair
Daniel E. Kauffman Committee Co-Chair
Everett B. Peterson Committee Member
Mary A. Marchant Committee Member
Muhammad, Andrew Committee Member
  • revenue maximization
  • inverse demand
  • summer flounder
  • differential production model
  • China’s soybean imports
Date of Defense 2009-07-09
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation contains three papers from two projects. The first two papers (Chapter Two and Chapter Three) are from a project entitled “Managing Flounder Openings for Maximum Revenue.” The objective of this project is to (1) estimate the monthly dockside price of summer flounder and identify seasonality in this price; and (2) set up a mathematical programming model to maximize the landing revenue by allocating the federal government quota on summer flounder across twelve months.

In the first paper (Chapter Two), various forms of inverse demand equations are used to estimate the dockside price of summer flounder. These models are evaluated based on their out-of-sample forecasting performance. A structural functional form is selected. In the second paper (Chapter Three), the selected price equation for summer flounder is applied into a revenue maximization model with both the federal government quota constraint and biological constraints from twelve months. The model is solved using CONPOT Solver of GAMS 21.5. The results of the scenarios indicate that the industry should move the landing effort from the period of October – February to the period of March – August. Comparing with historical data, this method can increase $44.73 million for the industry of landing summer flounder from 1991 to 2005.

The third paper (Chapter Four) investigates how China’s soybean import prices and domestic prices of soybeans and soybean products affect China’s soybean imports. Since 2000, soybeans have been the U.S. leading agricultural exports for bulk commodities. China is the largest importer of U.S. soybean exports. For China’s soybean crushing industry, imported soybeans are inputs rather than final products and used to produce soybean meal and oil. A differential production model, which is derived from a two-stage profit maximization model in producer theory, is adopted in this research. Estimates are used to calculate conditional and unconditional price elasticities for China’s soybean imports from its major source countries – the United States, Argentina, and Brazil. In addition, the Divisia index and unconditional output price elasticities are obtained for China’s soybean imports. Estimation results support the hypothesis that China’s soybean imports are determined by its domestic demand for soybean meal, rather than soybean oil. This implies that U.S. agribusinesses should pay attention to the dominant role of China’s demand for soybean meal and animal feed. U.S. agribusinesses can also use results in this research to evaluate how China’s soybean imports from different source countries will change when either international market prices or China’s domestic market prices change.

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