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Abstract

Octopus exports are an important source of foreign exchange for Mauritania. The export market has historically been dominated by coordinated Japanese buyers, a situation that led Mauritania to create the Societe Mauritanienne de Commercialisation de Poisson (SMCP) to negotiate with buyers and manage all octopus exports. Issues concerning competitiveness, price discrimination, and exchange rate pass-through in the Mauritanian octopus export market corrected for contemporaneous and serial correlation. Results indicate some degree of price discrimination across destination markets, market share enhancement through local currency price stabilization, and increases in marginal costs of production following nationalization of the Mauritanian trawler fleet. Thus, while creation of the SMCP did not result in the development of complete countervailing market power, Mauritania has managed to enhance the position of its octopus exports in the lucrative Japanese market.

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