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Cost analysis of pig slaughtering: A Hungarian case study
Published December 31, 2017
121-129

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 modelling and analysis of Hungarian wheat production in the marketing year 2011
Published December 31, 2012
63-67

In the framework of the present study I analysed the wheat production sector. In order to evaluate the situation prevailing in the sector I conducted an economic analysis which I based on primary data collection. The year of investigation was the production year of 2011. Long-term implications for different crop sectors can only be based on mul...ti-annual analysis, so in this article I only attempted to analyse the sector with respect to 2011. To evaluate wheat production I compiled its cost structure and assessed it. To evaluate its position in comparison to other crops I also carried out calculations to determine the gross margin (revenue minus variable cost)1 By gross margin I mean the gross margin (C), which is production value (PV) minus direct cost (DC), by definition (C=P-DC). of maize and rape. I observed that the gross margin attainable on one hectare was the lowest in the case of wheat. I applied two types of gross margin, because I consider it important that a given sector should also be profitable without subsidies. In the case of the gross margin including subsidies it is essential to emphasize the role of subsidies, since their ratio varied between 30 and 47% of the total revenue. The importance of subsidies was the most significant in the case of winter wheat.

 

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Complex problem analysis of the Hungarian dairy farms
Published June 30, 2012
93-100

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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Renewable energy resources in Hungary – solid biomass utilization in terms of necessity and opportunity
Published October 30, 2010
75-78

In the 21st century a country’s success significantly depends on how it can solve the problems (supply safety, growing prices, climate change, etc.) induced by the application structure of the fossil energy sources with the means of energy saving, energy efficiency and the utilization of renewable energy resources. The utilization of renewabl...e energy sources has positive effects on five key areas: environment protection, energy policies, fulfilment of EU expectations, agriculture and rural development and on the whole of the national economy. The bioenergy – beside fulfilling the national economic aims – it is putting up the value of the role of agriculture and rural development. The role of agriculture is multi-functional in the process. The agricultural sector has an important task in the area of bioenergy to ensure the proper quality and quantity of raw materials for the increase of bioenergy utilization. This also means new sales perspectives and opportunities for the producers. Above all this, the agricultural policy aims for the agriculture and the rural development segment to be the unambiguous winner of the new bioenergy sector and for most of the available profit to stay with the agricultural sector, with the rural players. For this reason encouraging the raw material production it wishes to encourage the producer their primary process and their local utilization. One of the fundamental objectives of the measures is that agriculture should go beyond the raw material production and take steps towards processing and utilization. The multifunctional role in the product chain might mean extra income and more added value for the producers and the active players in the process. The other objective is to promote the local utilization, the scatter of the environmentally friendly energy sources in rural areas, to change the energy is “lying on the ground unutilized” principle while local processing and promoting the utilization, to achieve a lower energy dependency and to optimize and disseminate cost efficient solutions. To realize all this means a great task and a huge challenge for the agricultural government as well as the rural societies and micro regions but might lead to a successful rural development. The range of the tools and measures to fulfil the aims might be very broad, from the regulating instruments to the various subsidies, coordination and dissemination tools. Part of the subsidy schemes are direct production-type of subsidies (the so called direct payments, for example the area based subsidies) and the other main forms are the investment-type subsidies which are for technology development, promotion of competitive production and local processing and for establishing a green energy industry. In the period of 2007-2013 the key elements of the development schemes were drafted in the frame of the New Hungary Rural Development Programme (ÚMVP) and the Environmental Energy Operational Program (KEOP). The available raw materials and the conditions are taken into consideration while designing the development schemes because a successful realization of a product chain means the assurance of the inputs and outputs. The starting point of determining the development direction is the principle of an operation which is sustainable and economical on the long run. In addition such developments are considered reasonable which are viable on medium and long term and bring numerous rural development, environmental and societal returns.

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Consumption habits of “Free range chicken” in Hungary
Published December 30, 2009
69-73

Poultry is highly ranked in theWorld meat production and consumption (it accounted for 32% in 2007), and, in the past 20 years it was growing with an annual rate of 3–6%, higher than in case of any other meat-types. This tendency is also valid for Hungary: poultry has the largest share (29.8 kg/person/year, 47%) in the domestic meat consumpti...on since 2000, which is among the EU top (KSH, 2007). As the result of the animal health and nutrition scandals, the EU animal welfare and quality requirements and the advancements in health consciousness the Master-Good group launched the production, processing and trade of free-range poultry under the brand “Free-range chicken”. The new products had good consumer responses, because at present 1.5% of the processed chicken in Hungary (25 tons/week) is under this brand. As it regards the future of this product, we can expect the decrease of the current 1.5 times higher production price over broiler chicken, due to the increasing energy, labour and other cost items, thus the increase of the domestic consumption by 25–30% per annum can be foreseen. Besides the growth in domestic demand, increasing foreign consumer demand can also be expected because of the space requirement of the production. Summarising the above mentioned: „Free range chicken” can be one of the most successful products of the Hungarian poultry industry. In order to realise the prognosis mentioned above, it is inevitable to learn the consumer attitudes towards the brand. A primary market research programme supported by the Master Good group has been launched to study the main features of the domestic chicken meat consumption – including the „Free-range chicken” as highlighted brand. The primary aim of the research was the complete assessment and evaluation of the Hungarian chicken consumption habits and the identification of the possible take-off points. The research undertaken resulted basic information concerning the internal structure of the Hungarian poultry consumption (including that of the „Free-range chicken”), the potential consumer groups and their requirements, provided information on the consumers’knowledge of the products and identified the elements of the consumers’ judgements. This will serve as basis for a marketing communication programme to increase the domestic „Free-range chicken” consumption.

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