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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An economic analysis of production and trade of selected ornamental nursery stock in British Columbia Stodola, Bernard James


The primary purpose of this thesis was to examine short run supply aspects of British Columbian (EB.CC..)) ornamental nursery stock propagation and trade. To this end, spatial equilibrium analysis was utilized in studying the influences of Canadian plant protection regulations, transportation costs, and costs of production on United States (U.S.) import levels into the province as well as domestic production levels. ;The basic constructs of the spatial equilibrium analysis were the transportation model and the production-distribution model. These models were used in establishing interregional and international production and trade patterns with respect to B.C. They relate to selected ornamental varieties under specified efficiency criteria and various parameters, with reference to the 1973 calendar year. In addition, sensitivity analysis was conducted within the spatial equilibrium framework. This indicated the strength of the competitive position of domestic propagators vis-a-vis U.S. propagators and provided an insight into the future state of health of the B.C. industry. Finally, an examination of domestic propagation levels was undertaken via quantitative and qualitative analyses in an attempt to explain the residual U.S. import quantities into B.C. For the purpose of this study eight distinct geographical regions were identified. Each region contained a representative point of origin or destination. Seven of these regions were specified as production or supply regions, comprised of four domestic production regions and three U.S. production regions. Five of the eight regions were identified as consumption or demand regions, comprised of four B.C. consumption regions and one Prairie consumption region. Three nursery conifers, Juniperus chinensis 'Pfitzeriana Aurea, ' Thuja occidentalis Pyrdmidalis' and Pinus mugho mughus were selected as being representative ornamental plant materials for the purpose of this study. The results of this study show that in 1973, B.C. propagators of the specified nursery materials had a competitive advantage in supplying domestic consumption regions. But this competitive advantage was reduced to some extent by the existence of Canadian plant protection regulations. This had the effect of both directly and indirectly inducing movement of materials from the U.S. in greater quantities than would have been the case without regulations. This study further shows that the competitive advantage of domestic propagators over U.S. growers was tenuous. Assuming 1975 transportation rates, a 10 percent increase in domestic costs of production, and constant U.S. procurement costs, would lead to the competitive advantage being shifted to U.S. suppliers for some ornamental materials. In addition the study discovers nothing to indicate that domestic propagation levels were unduly constrained by resource limitations. The results suggest that rapid domestic consumption increases coupled with grower uncertainty regarding legislative constraints and certain 'externalities' enjoyed by U.S. propagators, accounted for greater import levels than would have been expected a priori. It is believed that the findings of this analysis can be extended to other ornamental plant materials involved in B.C. propagation, insofar as they are produced and sold in part or entirely under similar conditions to those dealt with in the study.

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