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Abstract

The fresh produce sector is subject to season-specific market conditions so understanding differential impacts of various factors across marketing periods is important. We analyze the market structure, key factors influencing shipments, and seasonal price relationships in regional apple markets at the shipping-point and terminal-market levels using a symmetric variable threshold autoregressive model that allows threshold bands (which define price ranges considered in shipping decisions) to vary seasonally. We find that transportation costs and seasonality have a significant impact on threshold bands of market pairs and that the impact varies seasonally. This varying band across seasons may represent suppliers who perceive more or less opportunities to adjust their supply between regional markets and gain advantage by being responsive to market conditions.

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