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Co-opetition Relationships and Evolution of the World Dairy Trade Network: Implications for Policy-Maker Psychology

This study conducted a social network analysis of the evolutionary characteristics of the world dairy trade network based on the overall trade pattern. In addition, the evolution of trade blocs and the co-opetition relationships involving dairy products in major countries were analyzed in terms of supply and demand. The results show that continuous and complex changes have taken place in the world’s dairy trade network since 2001. The number of trade entities in dairy products has stabilized since 2012. At present, approximately 94% of countries (regions) are involved in dairy product trade, such that the world dairy trade network exhibits the small-world effect and scale-free property. The world import pattern for dairy products has changed. While export centers have not changed, import centers have shifted from Europe, America, and East Asia to North America, East Asia, and the Middle East. The world dairy trade network consists of the EU trade bloc headed by Germany, the former Soviet Union–Brazil trade bloc, and the Asia–Australia–America trade bloc. The trade blocs have evolved due to geographical positions, historical cultures, and political relations. In a trade bloc, the diversification of import sources is more prominent in demand countries. European and Asian markets have become the main markets of the major exporters. In this study, the evolutionary characteristics of the world dairy trade network and the co-opetition relationships were analyzed to provide scientific support to inform the development of dairy trade policies. The results can provide technical and psychological support to policy-makers in various countries in their dairy trade decision-making.

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