East-West resource allocation for agricultural input suppliers- A question of economics, politics or luck?

Date of publication: June 15, 1992


This paper examines the long term potential of the development of consumption of agricultural inputs in East Europe and contrasts that with the potential development in the EC. The input sectors considered are, animal feed, animal health and veterinary products, fertiliser, machinery, agrochemicals and seeds. The time horizon considered is 2000 to 2005 beyond the current and short term turmoil and set-backs. Animal health and agrochemical products are likely to demonstrate the largest shift in balance of relative size of market in favour of the East. In contrast seeds will not change markedly in the balance between East and West. Some greater emphasis of fertiliser towards the East may be expected. Animal feed use will change its balance with a greater relative emphasis on the EC. Input manufacturer strategists also have to take into account farm structure developments and their impact on distribution needs. The pattern of reducing tariffs on trade and increase ad hoc use of non-tariff, technical barriers to trade will be dynamic and difficult to predict in detail. Downstream food chain revitalisation will also play an important role in impeding or encouraging agricultural input use. The conclusion is that resource allocation for long term strategy realisation can be more refined than a pure chance decision and evaluation of the politics and economics is worthwhile.

Tony M. Houghton


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