This paper examines European Union (E.U.) demand for chilled fish fillets assuming product heterogeneity due to country of origin and assesses the structural adjustment in demand as indicated by the increase in imports from Sri Lanka since the tsunami in December 2004. The primary objective of this research is to assess how Sri Lanka’s fish exports affected fish exports from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda (Lake Victoria region). Although the results show no significant price competition between the Lake Victoria region and Sri Lanka, the Lake Victoria countries are clearly worse off now that Sri Lanka is a major supplier of chilled fish to the E.U. A comparison of the two periods 2001–2004 and 2007–2009 finds that in the former period, past imports of Lake Victoria fish had a positive impact on present imports, indicating that importers developed a preference for Lake Victoria fish during this time; in the latter period, this effect no longer existed. Most important is the change in the responsiveness of imports from Lake Victoria to real aggregate expenditures on imported fish in the E.U. The results show that a lesser share of aggregate expenditures is allocated to the Lake Victoria region and that the region now benefits less from an increase in aggregate expenditures.
Is there cause for concern in the Lake Victoria Region (East Africa)?
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)