Year of Publication

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Agriculture

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Mary A. Marchant

Abstract

Globally, China is the number one soybean importer, and the United States, Brazil, and Argentina are the top three soybean exporters. This research, based on the reverse residual demand model, developed and estimated a two-country partial equilibrium trade model to test who has stronger market power in the Chinese soybean import market. This two-country partial equilibrium trade model incorporates the U.S. residual soybean supply for China, the Chinese residual demand for U.S. soybeans, and the equilibrium condition, where the U.S. residual soybean supply equals the Chinese residual soybean demand. Data used in this research are monthly data from January 1999 to February 2005, 74 observations. Empirical results indicated that Chinese soybean importers have stronger market power relative to U.S. soybean exporters.This research also conducted the competitive analysis of the Chinese soybean import market by examining both annual and monthly data of Chinese soybean imports from the U.S. and South America (Brazil and Argentina). Results implied that the U.S. and South America are seasonal complementary soybean suppliers for China. Possible reasons include: 1) seasonal difference--the U.S. and South America have opposing growing seasons, i.e., different time periods to supply soybeans to markets; and 2) stronger market power of Chinese soybean importers–China's strategic choice, diversifying their soybean suppliers and reducing price increase risk, made the U.S. and South America complementary soybean suppliers to China.Additionally, this research compared the soybean export costs to China for the three countries. Results showed that Brazil has the greatest advantage for production costs, followed by Argentina and the U.S.; the U.S. has the greatest advantage for internal and international transportation and marketing costs, followed by Argentina and Brazil. In aggregate, the total soybean export costs for Brazil were the lowest and the export costs for Argentina were the highest, with U.S. costs between them.In terms of policy implications for the U.S. soybean industry facing strong competition from South America, we cannot expect that U.S. market share in the Chinese soybean import market can be expanded much. With the development of infrastructure in Brazil and Argentina, the U.S. advantage will become less and less. Therefore, if the U.S. soybean industry wants to keep its current position in the Chinese soybean import market, some governmental policy supports are still necessary.

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