Producer to retailer price transmission in cereal markets of Ethiopia
This paper investigates price transmission between producer and retail prices of teff, wheat, and maize in Amhara and Oromia, the two major cereal markets in Ethiopia. Market and cereal specific asymmetric error correction models were estimated to analyze producer-retail price transmission using monthly data from 2001 to 2011. For seven out of eight crop-market combinations, with the exception of the Amhara wheat market, we found no evidence of asymmetric price transmission from producer to retail prices in the long run. Neither contemporaneous nor long-run price transmission asymmetry was found in either the Amhara or Oromia teff markets. This was also the case for the maize market except that there existed a short-run asymmetric price transmission that disappeared in the long run in Oromia. We therefore conclude that there is no strong empirical evidence to support the purported ‘market power’ or ‘inventory holding’ behaviour in the Ethiopian cereal markets to explain asymmetric vertical price transmission in the long run. The evidence of asymmetric price transmission for the Amhara wheat market, unlike the wheat market in Oromia, may indicate some differential in the quality of infrastructure and the length and complexity of wheat value chains between these two markets. Symmetric price adjustments in these cereal markets suggest that input price changes may have positive long run implications for food security and welfare of the poor in Ethiopia.