Honey production competitiveness between the Visegrad countries analysis based on the relative comparative advantages indices

Economic Annals-ХХI: Volume 189, Issue 5-6(1), Pages: 57-68

Citation information:
Illés, B. Cs., Oravecz, T., Žufan, P., Šedík, P., & Mucha, L. (2021). Honey production competitiveness between the Visegrad countries analysis based on the relative comparative advantages indices. Economic Annals-XXI, 189(5-6(1)), 57-68. doi: https://doi.org/10.21003/ea.V189-06

Bálint Csaba Illés
CSc, habil (Economics),
Full Professor,
Institute of Economic Sciences,
Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences
1. Páter Károly Str.,
Gödöllő, 2100, Hungary
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9546-2897

Titanilla Oravecz
PhD (Economics),
Assistant Lecturer,
Department of Marketing,
Faculty of International Management and Business,
Budapest Business School
22-24. Diósy Lajos Str.,
Budapest, 1165, Hungary
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2582-3893

Pavel Žufan
PhD (Economics),
Associate Professor,
Department of Management,
Faculty of Business and Economics,
Mendel University in Brno
Zemědělská 1/1665,
Brno, 613 00, Czech Republic
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9184-545X

Peter Šedík
PhD (Economics),
Assistant Professor,
Institute of Marketing, Trade and Social Studies,
Faculty of Economics and Management,
Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra
Tr. A. Hlinku 2, 949 76, Nitra, Slovakia
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2495-5162

László Mucha
PhD Student (Economics),
Doctoral School of Economic and Regional Sciences,
Institute of Economic Sciences,
Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences
1. Páter Károly Str., Gödöllő, 2100, Hungary
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4971-3832

Honey production competitiveness between the Visegrad countries analysis based on the relative comparative advantages indices

Abstract. Honey has beneficial physiological effects, it is a valuable agricultural export product and widely used worldwide as food and medicine also. The primary aim of this present study is to demonstrate the honey production and trade of the EU member states known as Visegrad Four between 2000 and 2018. Also an objective of this article is the calculation of the actual comparative advantages of the Visegrad Four in foreign trade in natural honey using the RCA (relative comparative advantages) indices. During the research and analysis, different international and EU Databases were used. Secondary data used in the analysis derive from the reports of National Apiculture Programmes, the European Commission and the European Committee and from the databases of Faostat, Trademap and the United Nations Comtrade Database. V4 countries account for about 25% of the total EU apiculture sector, and the cooperation of Visegrad Four countries in the field of beekeeping could make a major contribution to the competitiveness of the sector. Examining the import and export data, using RCA indices it was proved that Hungary has a comparative advantage in terms of natural honey, however the competitiveness of the beekeeping sector in the region depends on the common performance of all four countries. Due to the stability of the sector and the positive externalities, authors suggest the further support of the apiary in the region.

Keywords: Central and Eastern European Countries; Export; Honey Product; Honey Trade; Import; Revealed Comparative Advantage Index

JEL Classification: F11; L66; Q17

Acknowledgements and Funding: Supported by the ÚNKP-20-3-I-SZIE-3 New National Excellence Program of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology.

Contribution: The authors contributed equally to this work.

Data Availability Statement: The dataset is available from the authors upon request.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21003/ea.V189-06


  1. Ahmed, S., & Othman, N. H. (2013). Review of the medicinal effects of Tualang honey and a comparison with Manuka Honey. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 20(6), 6-13.
  2. Artan, Q., & Smutka, L. (2011). The agrarian trade transformation in the Visegrad countries. International Congress European Association of Agricultural Economists. Zurich, August 30-September 2, 2011.
  3. Balassa, B. (1965). Trade liberalization and revealed comparative advantage. The Manchester School, 33(2), 99-123.
  4. Balogh, J. M. (2017). An empirical analysis of world wine trade. [Doctoral dissertation, Corvinus University of Budapest].
  5. Benesova, I., Maitah, M., Smutka, L., Tomsik, K., & Ishchukova N. (2017). Perspectives of the Russian agricultural exports in terms of comparative advantage. Agricultural Economics, 63(7), 318-330.
  6. Bielik, P., Smutka, L., & Horská, H. (2012). Development of Mutual Agricultural Trade of Visegrad Group Countries. Visegrad Journal of Bioeconomy and Sustainable Development, 1, 2-11.
  7. Blaas, G. (2013). Agriculture and food sectors of Slovakia at the transition to higher stage of development. Working Papers 52, EÚ SAV.
    http://ekonom.sav.sk/uploads/journals/238_blaas_vo_worde1.pdf (in Slovak)
  8. Bojnec, Š., & Fertő, I. (2014). Export competitiveness of dairy products on global markets: The case of the European Union countries. Journal of dairy science, 97(10), 6151-6163.
  9. Bojnec, Š., & Fertő, I. (2016). Export competitiveness of the European Union in fruit and vegetable products in the global markets. Agricultural Economics, 62(7), 299-310.
  10. Bojnec, Š., & Fertő, I. (2019). Agri-food comparative advantages in the European Union countries by value chains before and after enlargement towards the East. Agraarteadus: Journal of Agricultural Science, 30(2), 1-9.
  11. Buturac, G. (2008). Comparative advantage and export competitiveness of Croatian manufacturing industry. Economic Research, 21(2), 47-59.
  12. Buturac, G. (2009). Regional similarities and differences in the structure of international trade in Croatia. Proceedings of Zagreb Faculty of Economics, 7(1), 1-16.
  13. Csáki, Cs., & Jámbor, A. (2013). The impacts of EU accession on the agriculture of the Visegrad Countries. Society and Economy, 35(3), 343-364.
  14. Čavlin, M., Ignjatijević, S., & Ćirić, M. (2015). Analysis of honey production in Serbia aimed at improving the international competitiveness. Custos e Agronegocio Online, 11(2), 194-213.
  15. Dalum, B., Laursen, K., & Villumsen, G. (1998). Structural change in OECD export specialisation patterns: despecialisation and «stickiness». International Review of Applied Economics, 12(3), 423-443.
  16. de Benedictis, L., & Tamberi, M. (2001). A note on the Balassa index of revealed comparative advantage.
  17. Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (German Institute for Economic research, DIW). (1996). Die wirtschaftliche Lage der assoziierten Lander Mittel- und Osteuropas in die Europaische Union – AuJ3en- und binnenwirtschaftliche Auswirkungen im Hinblick auf eine kUnftige EU- Mitgliedschaft. Report to the German Ministry of Economics. Berlin (mimeo).
  18. Di Vita, G., Pippinato, L., Blanc, S., Zanchini, R., Mosso, A., & Brun, F. (2021). Understanding the Role of Purchasing Predictors in the Consumer’s Preferences for PDO Labelled Honey. Journal of Food Products Marketing, 27, 1-15.
  19. Dos-Santos, M. J. P. L. (2013). Segmentig farms in the European Union. Agricultural Economics (AGRICECON), 59(2), 49-57.
  20. Eteraf-Oskouei, T., & Najafi, M. (2013). Traditional and modern uses of natural honey in human diseases: a review. Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences, 16(6), 731-742.
  21. European Commission (2019). Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, on the implementation of apiculture programmes. Brussels.
  22. European Commission. (2020a). Honey Market Presentation, Spring 2020.
  23. European Commission. (2020b). EU Beekeeping Sector. National Apiculture Programmes 2020-2022.
  24. European Parliament. (2017). The EU’s beekeeping sector.
  25. European Parliament. (2018). Key facts about Europe‘s honey market (infographic).
  26. Faostat. (2020a). Livestock Primary: Honey, natural. [Dataset].
  27. Faostat. (2020b). Compare Data. [Dataset].
  28. Fehér, A., Gazdecki, M., Véha, M., Szakály, M., & Szakály, Z. (2020). A Comprehensive Review of the Benefits of and the Barriers to the Switch to a Plant-Based Diet. Sustainability, 12(10), 4136.
  29. Fenyves, V., Pető, K., Harangi-Rákos, M., & Szenderák, J. (2019). The Economic and Financial Situation of the Visegrad Countries. Scientific Journal on Agricultural Economics (Gazdálkodás), 63(3), 459-473.
  30. Fernandes, R. A. S., & Santos, C. M. (2011). Competitividade das exportações sucroalcooleiras do Estado de São Paulo. Revista de Política Agrícola, 20(4), 50-57.
    https://seer.sede.embrapa.br/index.php/ RPA/article/view/24
  31. Fertő, I. (2008). The evolution of agri-food trade patterns in Central European countries. Post-Communist Economies, 20(1), 1-10.
  32. Fojtikova, L. (2016). Trends in the revealed comparative advantages of the EU member states. Economic Annals-ХХІ, 161(9-10), 7-11.
  33. Fritsch, M., & Hansen, H. (Eds.). (1997). Rules of competition and East-West integration. Boston: Springer.
  34. Grubić, R. (2008). Pčelarstvo u Zrenjaninu. Rad muzeja Vojvodine, 50, 273-283 (in Bosnian).
  35. Ignjatijević, S., Čavlin, M., D., & Đorđević, D. (2014). Measurement of comparative advantages of processed food sector of Serbia in the increasing the export. Economics of Agriculture, 61(3), 677-693.
    https://doi.org/10.5937/ekopolj1403677i (in Bosnian)
  36. Ignjatijević, S., Milojevic, I., & Andžić, R. (2018). Economic analysis of exporting Serbian honey. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 21(7), 929-944.
  37. Jacobs, C., Berglund, M., Kurnik, B., Dworak, T., Marras, S., Mereu, V., & Michetti, M. (2019). Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector in Europe. EEA Report: 4/2019. European Environment Agency (EEA).
  38. Jámbor, A. (2013). Comparative advantages and specialisation of the Visegrad countries agri-food trade. Acta Oeconomica et Informatica, 16(1), 22-34.
  39. Jambor, A., & Babu, S. (2016). The competitiveness of global agriculture. In Competitiveness of global agriculture (pp. 99-129). Springer, Cham.
  40. Jámbor, A., & Hubbart, L. J. (2013). Changing product structure and comparative advantage. The case of Hungarian agrifood trade. Ekonomický časopis, 61(8), 846-860.
  41. Jašová, E., Čermáková, K., Kadeřábková, B., & Procházka, K. (2016). Influence of Institutional Factors on Structural and Cyclical Unemployment in the Countries of the Visegrad Group. Politická ekonomie, 64(1), 34-50.
  42. Káposzta, J., & Nagy, H. (2015). Status Report about the Progess of the Visegrad Countries in Relation to Europe 2020 Targets. European Spatial Research and Policy, 22(1), 81-99.
  43. Kiss, A., Oláh, J., Popp, J., & Lakner, Z. (2020). Towards understanding dietary supplement use among ­recreational athletes on the basis of a complex, multifactorial model. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 59(2), 127-136.
  44. Kočišová, K. (2015). Application of the DEA on the measurement of efficiency in the EU countries. Agricultural Economics – Czech, 61, 51-62.
  45. Kolkova, A. (2018). Indicators of Technical Analysis on the Basis of Moving Averages as Prognostic Methods in the Food Industry. Journal of Competitiveness, 10(4), 102-119.
  46. Kravcakova-Vozarova, I., Kotulic, R., & Sira, E. (2015). V4 countries’ agricultural sector evaluation in terms of competitive advantage. Economic Annals-XXІ, 5-6, 60-63.
  47. Kružík, V., Grégrová, A., Ziková, A., & Čížková, H. (2019). Rape honey: determination of botanical origin based on volatile compound profiles. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 58(4), 339-348.
  48. Křístková, Z., & Ratinger, T. (2014). Potential distributional effects of the Common Agricultural Policy’s reform and induced structural change. Ekonomický časopis (Journal of Economics), 62(5), 473-495 (in Slovak).
  49. Lafay, G. (1992). The Measurement of Revealed Comparative Advantages. In M. G. Dagenais, & P. A. Muet, (Eds.). International Trade Modelling (pp. 209-234). London: Chapman & Hill.
  50. Liesner, H. H. (1958). The European Common Market and British industry. Economic Journal, 68(270), 302-316.
  51. Nagyová, L., Horáková, M., Moroz, S., Horská, E., & Poláková, Z. (2018). The analysis of export trade between ukraine and visegrad countries. E&M Ekonomie a Management (Economics and Management), 21(2), 115-132.
  52. Norton, G. W., Wang, J., & Masters, W. A. (2010). Economics of agricultural development. World food systems and resource use (2nd edition). Routledge Press.
  53. Oláh, J., Kovács, S., Virglerova, Z., Lakner, Z., Kovacova, M., & Popp, J. (2019). Analysis and comparison of economic and financial risk sources in SMEs of the Visegrad group and Serbia. Sustainability, 11(7), 1853.
  54. Oravecz, T., Mucha, L., Magda, R., Totth, G., & Illés, Cs. B. (2020). Consumers’ Preferences for Locally Produced Honey in Hungary. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, 68, 407-418.
  55. Paula, M., Angelo, H., Almeida, A., Miguel, E., Vasconcelos, P. G., Schwans, A., Facini, M., Ribas, A., & Pompermeyer, R. (2017). The Revealed Comparative Advantage Index of Brazilian Natural Honey. Journal of Agricultural Science, 11(9), 76-87.
  56. Philippot, D. (2010). Federal Terms and Acronyms. Governments institute. The Scarecrow Press.
  57. Pocol, C. B., Ignjatijević, S., & Cavicchioli, D. (2017). Production and Trade of Honey in Selected European Countries: Serbia, Romania and Italy. Honey Analysis, 1-20.
  58. Popp, J., Kiss, A., Oláh, J., Máté, D., Bai, A., & Lakner, Z. (2018b). Network Analysis for the Improvement of Food Safety in the International Honey Trade. Amfiteatru Economic, 20(47), 84-98.
  59. Popp, J., Oláh, J., Kiss, A., Temesi, A., Fogarassy, Cs., & Lakner, Z. (2019). The socio-economic force field of the creation of short food supply chains in Europe. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 58(1), 31-41.
  60. Popp, J., Oláh, J., Machova, V., & Jachowicz, A. (2018a). Private equity market of the Visegrad group. Ekonomicko-manazerske spektrum, 12(1), 1-15.
  61. Przytuła, S., Formánková, S., Ubrežiová, I., & Dunay, A. (2019). Corporate Social Responsibility in Visegrad Countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) Overall Landscape. In Długopolska-Mikonowicz A., Przytuła S., Stehr C. (Eds), Corporate Social Responsibility in Poland (pp. 325-535). CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance. Springer.
  62. Raičević, V., Ignjatijević, S., & Matijašević, J. (2012). Economic and legal determinants of export competitiveness of the food industry of Serbia. Industrija, 40(1), 201-226.
  63. Ricardo, D. (1817, 2015). On Taxes, Chapter 7. In On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (pp. 186-193). London: Cambridge University Press.
  64. Senyshyn, O., Kundytskyj, O., & Klepanchuk, O. (2019). An index analysis for the assessment of the competitiveness of food products in Ukraine. Journal of Competitiveness, 11(2), 130-143.
  65. Střeleček, F., Lososová, J., & Zdeněk, R. (2009). Comparison of subsidies in the Visegrad group after the EU accession. Agricultural Economics – Czech, 55(9), 415-423.
  66. Suchanek, P., & Kralova, M. (2018). The Influence of Costumers’ Personal Characteristics on their Satisfaction with the Food Industry. Journal of Competitiveness, 10(4), 151-170.
  67. Svatoš, M. (2008). Selected trends forming European agriculture. Agricultural Economics – Czech, 54(3), 93-101.
  68. Svatoš, M., & Smutka, L. (2012). Development of agricultural trade of Visegrad group countries in relation to EU and third countries. Agris On-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, 4(3), 55-69.
  69. Svečnjak, L., Hegić, G., Kezić, J., Turšić, M., Dražić, M., Bubalo, D., & Kezić, N. (2008). The state of beekeeping in Croatia, Journal of Central European Agriculture, 9(3), 475-482.
    https://hrcak.srce.hr/35397 (in Croatian)
  70. Szabó, L., & Grznár, M. (2015). Agriculture in the EU and position of the Slovak Republic. Agricultural Economics – Czech, 61(11), 493-501.
  71. Szabó, L., Grznár, M., & Zelina, M. (2018). Agricultural performance in the V4 countries and its position in the European Union. Agricultural Economics – Czech, 64(8), 337-346.
  72. Šedík, P. (2015, April 22). Honey Trade in the European Union. In Zborník príspevkov z konferencie ŠVOČ 2015 s medzinárodnou účasťou (Proceedings of Contributions from the SSC 2015 Conference With International Participation), Nitra (pp. 149-157). Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra.
  73. Šedík, P., Horská, E., Adam, Š., & Miškeje, M. (2020). Mineral content as an aspect of nutrition marketing: case study of honey market in Slovakia. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 59(3), 185-192.
  74. Šedík, P., Pocol, C. B., & Horská, E. (2017). A Comparaison of Beekeeping Sectors between Slovakia and Romania. Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca. Horticulture, 74(2), 183-190.
  75. Takács-György, K. (2012). Quo vadis Hungarian agriculture. Lesson for EU accession. Annals of the Polish Association of Agricultural and Agribusiness Economists, 15(3), 350-355.
  76. Török, A., & Jámbor, A. (2016). Determinants of the revealed comparative advantages: The case of the European ham trade. Agricultural Economics – Czech, 62(10), 471-482.
  77. Törőné Dunay, A. (2012). Farm level impacts of the EU accession and agricultural policy developments. Agroinform Kiadó, Budapest.
  78. Trademap. (2020). List of markets for the selected product: 0409 Natural honey. [Dataset].
  79. United Nations Comtrade. (2020). Commodity Trade Statistics Database. [Dataset].
  80. Vásáry, M., & Vasa, L. (2015). Agrárkereskedelmi eredmények a tízéves uniós tagság fényében (Results of agricultural trade in the light of ten years of EU membership, in Hungarian). Külügyi Szemle, 14(1), 117-140.
  81. Vásáry, M., Vasa, L., & Baranyai, Zs. (2014). Analysing competitiveness in agro-trade among Visegrad countries. Actual Problems of Economics, 151(1) pp. 24-35.
  82. Vishwakarma, R., & Kumar, R. (2020). An Appraisal on Quality Honey Production. In A. Kumar Singh, V. B. Patel (Eds.), Sustainable Agriculture. Part IV. Chapter 24. Apple Academic Press.
  83. Vollrath, T. L. (1991). A theoretical evaluation of alternative trade intensity measures of revealed comparative advantage. Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, 127, 265-279.
  84. Widodo, T. (2009). Comparative Advantage: Theory, empirical measures and case studies. Review of Economic and Business Studies, 4, 57-82.
  85. Zafar, M., Latafat, T., Zehra A., & Farooqui Y. (2020). Therapeutic Properties of Honey: A Review of Literature. Research & Reviews: A Journal of Pharmacology, 10(1), 41-49.
  86. Zhen, Z., & Qin, L. (2012). A study on honey export competitiveness of Hubei Province. International Conference on Information Management, Innovation Management and Industrial Engineering (pp. 203-206), October, 2012. (IEEE).

Received 4.03.2021
Received in revised form 19.04.2021
Accepted 30.04.2021
Available online 10.06.2021