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Quality and price impacts on U.S. demand for lamb imports




Ufer, Danielle Jayne, author
Countryman, Amanda, advisor
Bonanno, Alessandro, committee member
Delmore, Robert, committee member

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The U.S. lamb industry has changed in the last decade, potentially impacting the structure of the import industry, which has become necessary to meet domestic demand. Domestic production has continued to decline, consumer demographics have shifted to reflect a growing ethnic consumer population, and promotional efforts have been met with varying degrees of success. This work updates previous research to evaluate how changes in the industry may affect import demand using a differential production model approach, and extends the literature to evaluate the role of boneless/bone-in product differentiation in importer demand using an absolute price version of the Rotterdam model. Results indicate that the structure of the lamb import market has remained relatively consistent across the past three decades, even with the inclusion of an additional fifteen years of data. Importers appear to have become less responsive to changes in prices, with demand for all imports becoming more inelastic. Product differentiation is found to play an important role in import demand, with boneless and bone-in products showing evidence of separability. Source-specific association with different product qualities appear to be emerging, with preference for frozen lamb from New Zealand and chilled lamb from Australia, with frozen Australian lamb demonstrating shrinking influence within the market. Overall, as imports become essential to meet U.S. domestic demand for lamb, the boneless and bone-in imported lamb markets both display low variability in an increasingly inelastic lamb import market that has become more insensitive to price changes over time.


2017 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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