An approach to estimate the interregional competitiveness of sugar beets - using the example of selected European regions
How competitive are sugar beets after a liberalisation of the EU market compared to rapeseed and wheat in selected high yielding regions?
A changing global competitive environment and a liberalisation of the EU common agricultural policy confront the EU sugar beet production with new challenges, but also with promising opportunities. A rising agricultural price level as well as the political support of bioenergy increase the opportunity costs of land and thus increase the economic pressure on the sugar beet production. Against this background we estimate the future development of the sugar beet production in Germany and Europe.
To estimate the competitiveness of sugar beets it is necessary to gather detailed data on its cultivation. Therefore, two sources of information are of special interested: First, we need crop specific data at individual farm level. Second, in expert group discussions we want to compile information on indirect factors that influence the beet cultivation as well. This approach is appropriate because the latter information is not available in the ordinary cost calculations. The indirect factors are important determinants for the competitiveness of the sugar beet.
Based on the individual farm calculations and the findings from the expert discussions we calculate the on-farm competitiveness of sugar beets compared to their alternative crops such as rapeseed and wheat. In five selected regions we use data from workgroups, scientific institutes and educational institutions. In so called focus group discussions indirect effects such as yield effects on the following crop or work peaks, are discussed with farmers and advisors from the selected regions. Thus, we can draw a realistic picture of possible developments in beet cultivation in the analyzed regions.
For the regions of Cologne-Aachen Bay, East Westphalia, Lower Franconia, East England, Zeeland, individual equilibrium prices for sugar beet were calculated and extrapolated for the region based on the volume of cultivation. Based on average equilibrium prices in the sample farms examined, sugar beet cultivation is the most competitive in the Cologne-Aachen Bay and East Westphalia regions. Then follow the regions of Lower Franconia and Zeeland. The East England region is the least competitive region. First, the least competitive farms in East England, Lower Franconia and East Westphalia would reduce their beet cultivation. At alternative prices of € 180 per ton of wheat, this would be the case at a beet price of around 37 €/t. Beet cultivation within the regions would then probably be taken over by the more competitive farms. A reduction in the beet acreage can be expected from beet prices below 33 €/t. More detailed results can be found in Thünen Report No. 24.
6.2009 - 12.2014
Project status: finished