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Cost analysis of pig slaughtering: A Hungarian case study
Published December 31, 2017

The scale of Hungarian slaughterhouses is small in international comparison and the cost of slaughter and cutting a pig of average live weight is relatively high at 16.1-19.4 EUR on average. The aim of this study is to evaluate the cost of pig slaughter and cutting through the case study of a medium-scale plant in Hungary. Based on data from th...e enterprise, a calculation was performed in relation to the “output” quantity of pig slaughter and cutting, as well as its value and the cost and cost structure of processing. The capacity of the examined plant and its utilisation were analysed and cost reductions were estimated for various increases of output. In 2015, the direct cost of slaughter and cutting was 18.9 EUR per pig for the medium-scale plant which processed 100 thousand pigs. When the purchase cost of pigs is excluded, labour costs accounted for the highest share (30%) of costs, followed by services (29%) and energy costs (21%). For this reason, the level of wages and employer’s contributions has a rather high significance. Analysis showed that significant increases in Hungarian minimum wage and guaranteed living wage in 2017 resulted in an estimated 7% increase in the cost of slaughter and cutting compared to 2015, despite the decrease of contributions. The capacity utilisation of the plant was a low 28% when compared to a single 8-hour shift considered full capacity. The cost of slaughter and cutting was estimated to be reduced to 14.2-17.0 EUR per pig if the plant operated at full capacity. This may be considered a lower bound estimate of cost because there are numerous restricting factors on optimising capacity utilisation, such as: 1) number of live animals available for purchase and related logistics; 2) cooling capacity availability; 3) labour availability; 4) market position of the enterprise and potential for marketing additional pig meat products. Enterprises of this scale are recommended to consider producing more value-added products and, accordingly, investing in product development.

JEL Classification: Q13, Q19

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Economic issues of duck production: A case study from Hungary
Published December 31, 2017

The Hungarian waterfowl sector is characterised by export orientation, as 55-57% of the revenue comes from exports, so its importance is high in the national economy. The production of slaughter animals in the duck sector has doubled in the last decade. The objective of the study is to examine production parameters, as well as the cost and situation of broiler duck production and to reveal the correlations between the factors with a case study through the example of a Hungarian company. The production parameters and cost data of the investigated farm (2014-2016, 96 production cycles) were analysed using descriptive statistical methods, correlation and regression analysis. The results show that the average cost of the duck produced in intensive, closed farming system was between 72.6 and 101.7 eurocent kg-1. The most significant cost items were feed (52-63%) and chicken cost (14-19%). The sales price decreased from 112.9 eurocent kg-1 to 98.4 eurocent kg-1 during the examined period, resulting in a profit from -3.3 to 25.7 eurocent kg-1, and overall profitability was decreasing. The study also revealed that there was no correlation between average cost and final bodyweight, while the correlation between average cost and reared period was weak. At the same time, the relationship between average cost and average daily weight gain, mortality, feed conversion ratio was moderate. In addition, the European Production Efficiency Factor (EPEF) can be adapted to the duck sector as strong, positive relationship can be scientifically verified between the indicator and average cost. There is a close correlation between the sold live weight per m2 and the amount of feed used per m2, as well as between the final bodyweight and the amount of feed used to rear a duck, while the correlation between average cost and the sold live weight per m2 is weak.

JEL Code: Q13, Q19

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Potential of vertical and horizontal integration in the Hungarian fish product chain
Published September 30, 2014

After the economic and political transformation, the output and resource utilization of the Hungarian fish production sector decreased less than in other livestock sectors, and it managed to preserve its income position. As a consequence of the relatively low level of the implemented innovative developments, though, for all the EU assistance av...ailable the cooperation efforts did not prove to be very efficient. The relatively favourable income position of several farms led them to a kind of “leisureliness”, and as a result, the level of the applied production technology in many cases did not even reach that of the 1970s. All these circumstances led to the degradation of the innovations and to the expiration of the horizontal and vertical integrations in the sector, leaving the commercial and cooperation forms being typical in an otherwise stabile classical free-market environment. Problems were further increased – amongst other things – by the volatile cereal prices, 27% VAT rate, and the introduction of road toll. After long years, certain farms were to face losses, and the decline of profitability at sectorial level, thus the need for innovation and producers’ co-operations has become imperative. As a solution option to these problems, a model of a product chain containing both horizontal and vertical elements and comprising the entire sector has been developed. Present study introduces this new model, which is established on foreign examples primarily, but takes the Hungarian specialities into account too.

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Key aspects of investment analysis
Published December 31, 2007

This paper reviewed principally accepted methods applied to investment analysis. To describe every aspect of investment analysis fully would require far more space than available here, so we highlight only of few of its aspects. This study collects several well-known bibliographies, contrasts them with each other and provides explanations for h...aving done so. There are many questions about which authors and companies agree, including about how to apply certain methods, but on others there is disagreement. Four dynamic methods (Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Profitability Index, and Discounted Payback Period) are demonstrated from the viewpoint of application. Moreover, this study clarifies several sensitive questions, such as handling income taxes, inflation and uncertainty. Other examined issues are only mentioned at the end of this paper, and we will publish on these more thoroughly at a later date.

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Complex problem analysis of the Hungarian dairy farms
Published June 30, 2012

Hungarian dairy farms went through significant changes in past two decades. The most significant changes were caused by our accession to the European Union in 2004. In Hungary milk production remarkably declined after EU accession due to the decreasing level of support and decreasing milk prices. Size of our dairy herd has been practically redu...cing since the political transformation (1989); meanwhile the relative yields per cow have been continuously increasing. Relatively low prices, high production costs and tightening quality requirements ousted several producers – mainly small farms - from the market in past years. Feeding cost represents the highest rate in cost structure of production, but animal health expenditures and various losses are also significant. Applied technology of the Hungarian dairies lags behind theWestern-European competitors’; in addition they have handicaps in efficiency and product innovation. Moreover Hungarian milk and milk product consumption is about half of the Union average. In 2007 at the University of Debrecen the opportunities and the problems of this sector were discussed in the framework of a research and development project entitled “Project-generating based on sector-specific innovation”.At this workshop farmers, experts and advisers shared their ideas which were all gathered. The main objective of our paper is to provide useful information for the decision makers and the most important members of the sector. Using the practically successful ideas plus the ideas based on previous experience a new strategic concept was created. To reach the objective of this paper we collected, synthesized and analysed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the dairy farms and performed a SWOT analysis. On the basis of this SWOT analysis we set up a well organised problem hierarchy which would help to identify the main weaknesses of the sector. This analysis gives a great framework for the researches and it also gives a useful tool for the decision makers to improve the competitiveness of the Hungarian dairy sector.

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The operation of the Hungarian broiler product chain
Published December 30, 2009

The general objective of this paper is to present the inner connections of the broiler product chain and the process of value generation in the economic situation of 2007. I introduce the input-output model of the broiler product chain adapted from macro-economic analysis, in which I calculated the direct connections of the product chain phases... and between the national economic branches outside the chain. Then I point to the disproportion of the product chain through the profit distribution. Moreover, to evaluate the process of the value generation I demonstrate the value added generated along the value chain (year 2007). On the basis of the results 825 EUR of value added is realized to one ton of ready product (chicken meat), from which the major portion is shared by processing. The paper also determines the added value and the major factors influencing its ratio within the product chain.

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