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Presentation made to Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India May 24th 2011

Prices: Price Behaviour, Volatility Price Transmission: Farm gate Wholesale Retail, Domestic International, Thinness of international market Consumption: Monetization of economy, Changes in diet, calorie and nutritional content Output: Composition of Output, Yield, Efficiency (NFSM), Ground Truthing Data Issues and Taxonomy for Agriculture Statistics Policy Responses to Volatility and Mitigation: Short, Medium and Long Run Supply and Demand Side, Reliance on market mechanism, Trade policy 2

Characterising Price Behavior

Cyclic pattern i.e. swings from trough to peak Right skewness: Upward spikes not matched by similar price decline Excess kurtosis: Tails of the price distribution fatter than the normal Time varying volatility: Unstable variance across time Stochastic trend: Random movements across an average price Positive autocorrelation due to storing of commodities from the harvest to post-harvest season

Characterising Price Behavior

Variation of prices over intra harvest period and distribution of prices across regions Volatility - by type of commodity (characteristics) Seasonal Storage*, Warehouse Receipts Futures Market (Why markets function well in some commodities) Market Integration Objective 1: Identify Cycles, Temporary / Permanent Shocks, Structural Factors - Group commodities based on their price behavior

Price Transmission: Farm gate Wholesale Retail

Imperfect price transmission: Incomplete transmission Lags in price adjustment between respective stages in the marketing chain Asymmetric responses to positive and negative price changes Market structure matters - Number of market intermediaries, Differences in volumes transacted in Mandis, Market integration

Price Transmission: Farm gate Wholesale Retail

Asymmetry in transmission from wholesale to retail Increase in the wholesale prices is passed on quickly (no. of days) to consumers as compared to a decrease Size and speed of transmission is crucial from policy perspective Frequency of price change and quantum of price change Objective 2: Understanding transmission mechanism





Price Transmission: Domestic International

Objective 3: To quantify thinness of market and understand its implications for price transmission and trade policy International trade in agricultural commodities by country commodity pairs. What is the duration and volume of trade by country commodity pair? Composition of Indias (exports and imports) trade basket & role of tariffs Studying impacts (such as trade, welfare and revenue effects) associated with alternative trade policy scenarios can be analyzed using the SMART model 14



350.0 250000 300.0 200000 250.0



150.0 100000 100.0 50000 50.0


WPI Onion

Export Volume


Looking at Trends in Consumption Producer: Monetization of the rural economy, vulnerable to price volatility Consumer: Prices, Affordability, Dietary habits


Inferring food security from consumption patterns (NSSO Data) Calorific content of Indias agricultural output, Food Security: Macro Household (?) (Markets, Prices, Affordability) Technology & fortification Changing patterns in domestic consumption Objective 4: Secondary data analysis using NSSO data and NNMB data to understand linkages between household occupation, poverty and nutritional value of consumption basket

Output : Composition and Yields

Trends in Production and Yields Food grains (buffer stocks, PDS) & Non Food grains Vegetables Fruits The G-20 document talks about Rice, Wheat, Maize such a focus is very narrow Objective 5: The debate on food-non food crop production and its impact on prices Relevance to India (CGE model)

Improving Yields
Bridging Yield Gap - Ensure access to existing technology, gaps in access & use of technology across agro climatic regions, developing new technology (shifts the production frontier collaborate with agricultural scientists) Improving Yields - Investments in agriculture and Investments for agriculture Objective 6: Use the unit level cost of cultivation (input and output) data to understand the extent to which farmers are away from the production frontier and quantify the yield gap

Investments in / for Agriculture

Objective 7: Analysis of state governments capital expenditure (1991-2010) on agriculture Objective 8: Quality of investments in and investments for agriculture : Examine specific schemes for example RIDF (NABARD) Objective 9: Output elasticity of agricultural credit Objective 10: Relate the yield gap to quality of investments in and investments for agriculture subject to availability of data on yield gap Objective 11: Review paper on role of markets & institutions

Factors contributing to increase in food production

Objective 12: Pilot Study of impact of NFSM Role of ATMA Convergence with other programmes Identify a cluster of villages in one or two districts where production has increased Conduct survey to identify factors


Validation of Crop Forecasts

Objective 13: Ground Truthing Exercise *(V.C) Developments in remote sensing techniques have enabled generation of contemporaneous estimates of crop area and production Identify a district covered under National Food Security Mission for ground truthing the estimates from remote sensing data IGIDR needs to collaborate with ISRO \ National Remote Sensing Agency in this regard

Online Digital Portal

Objective 14: Online Portal IGIDR will collaborate with IRIS Knowledge Foundation (IRIS-KF) to build the online portal on aspects related to agriculture IRIS-KF has developed eSocialSciences, an online social science portal and Knowledge Community on Children in India for UNICEF


Taxonomy for Agricultural Statistics

Rangarajan Committee Recommended use of XBRL. XBRL is now the mandated reporting standard for banks and companies in India This reporting standard can be extended to socioeconomics statistics including agricultural statistics In order to work towards adoption of XBRL standard it is important to develop a taxonomy Objective 15: Review paper on improving agricultural statistics the role of XBRL


Develop a comprehensive interlinked database Taxonomy for Agricultural Statistics Knowledge Briefs - 4 Pager Discussion Papers Analytical Papers Dissemination


Issues for Discussion

Access to price database (available online and internally within the ministries), cost of cultivation data, NNMB data Collaboration Identify partner institutions Budget to be finalized upon clarity on scope and duration of the project


Recap of Objectives
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Group commodities based on their price behavior Domestic price transmission mechanism Frequency of price change Thinness of international market and its implications Linkages between household occupation, poverty and nutritional value of consumption basket 6. Debate on food-non food crop production and its impact on prices 7. The extent to which farmers are away from the production frontier and quantify the yield gap 8. State governments capex on agriculture

Recap of Objectives
8. Quality of investments in and investments for agriculture 9. Output elasticity of credit 10. Relate the yield gap to quality of investments in and investments for agriculture 11. Review paper on role of markets & institutions 12. Pilot study on National Food Security Mission 13. Ground Truthing Exercise 14. Online Portal 15. Taxonomy for Agricultural Statistics


Deflated prices of wheat and corn show a downward trend from 1950 to 2001 (Wright, 2011) Trends in the price series studied through the unit root analysis (Cuddington, 1992; Ghoshray, 2010) Long run trends are small as compared to the price variability (Cashin and McDermott, 2002) Decline in the trend is not gradual but takes place in installments i.e the price series have structural breaks (Zanias, 2005)

Real commodity prices are characterised by longcycles (Hadri, 2010) Reasons for the cyclic pattern: Low elasticity of demand and supply, Speculative bubbles Commodity price cycles are characterized by shortlived booms and sharp bursts (Deaton and Laroque, 1992; Deaton, 1992) The presence of cycles create booms and busts in GDP (exports) and hence the estimates of magnitude, duration and shape of the cycle are important from the policy perspective

Cycles contd...
Cashin, McDermott and Scott (1999) date commodity prices using the Bry-Boschan business cycle algorithm and estimate the amplitude, duration and frequency of the cycle. They also examine whether the duration spent in either boom and slump affects the probability of a change in the state Price slump lasts longer than the booms (Cashin and McDermott, 2002) Labys et al. (2000) use the NBER (Moore, 1980) chronology to find the timing, frequency and amplitude of price cycle

Frequency of Price change

It reflects how quickly prices adjust in response to changing demand and supply conditions Is the frequency of price change equal for both the wholesale and retail markets at a centre How synchronized is the frequency of price change across different markets in the country

Frequency of Price Change

Frequency of price change implies the percentage of price quotes which changed values from their last month level Disaggregated CPI data has been used to understand the frequency of price change (Bils and Klenow (2004); Baharad and Eden(2004)) The aim is to understand whether prices change in a staggered (State Dependent Pricing) or random (Time-Dependent Pricing) manner Hazard Functions are further used to measure the predictability of a price change

Frequency of Price Change and Hazard Function

Hazard function represents the distribution of the length of time that elapses from the beginning of an event until its end (Ikeda and Nishioka, 2007) Hazard rate, an outcome of the hazard function predicts the chances of prices changing in the next period given that they have remained constant till the last period.