Intra-European Union trade of dairy products: insights from network analysis
In this paper, we employ a novel, network analysis based approach to gain new insights with respect to the changes in the structure of intra-European Union (EU) milk product trade between 2001 and 2012. Several network indices are computed to assess the relative importance of the countries from a number of perspectives. The results emphasise that the trade network has become denser, yet its overall centralisation slightly decreased during the period. While the impacts of the 2004 EU enlargement are clearly visible, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis are less evident. Integration of countries that joined the EU in 2004 or 2007 (the so-called New Member States, NMS) is only partial, and depends on the category of milk product considered. Although the number of NMS trade relations increased constantly between 2001 and 2012, the relative importance of most of them did not change. A significant exception is Poland, which became one of the most important exporting countries.