Cost Accounting

What is Economic Batch Quantity? With Example

Economic batch quantity (EBQ) is a crucial concept that determines the most cost-effective quantity of units to produce in a single batch or production run.

By optimizing the batch size, businesses can minimize their overall production costs, considering factors such as ordering, setup, carrying, and unit costs.

Understanding EBQ and Its Significance

EBQ aims to strike a balance between the two primary costs associated with production: ordering costs and carrying costs. Ordering costs encompass the expenses incurred each time a new production batch is initiated, such as setup charges, labour costs, and paperwork. Carrying costs, on the other hand, represent the expenses associated with holding inventory, including storage, insurance, and obsolescence risks.

Producing in excessively large batches can lead to high carrying costs due to increased inventory levels. Conversely, producing in small batches may result in frequent ordering cycles, driving up ordering costs. EBQ seeks to find the optimal batch size that minimizes both sets of costs, ensuring efficient production and resource utilization.

Ordering costs are the costs associated with placing an order, such as the cost of preparing the order, shipping the order, and inspecting the goods. These costs are typically fixed, meaning that they do not vary with the order quantity.

Carrying costs are the costs associated with holding inventory, such as the cost of storage, insurance, and obsolescence. These costs are typically variable, meaning that they increase with the order quantity.

Calculating EBQ: The Formula and Assumptions

The formula for calculating EBQ is derived from the economic order quantity (EOQ) model, considering the production rate (R) in addition to demand (D), setup cost (S), carrying cost per unit (C), and ordering cost per order (I). The formula is:

EBQ = √(2DS/IC)

This formula assumes that demand is constant and known over a specific period, production time is constant, setup costs are fixed, and unit costs remain constant.

Example of Economic Batch Quantity (EBQ)

A company produces widgets at a constant rate of 100 widgets per hour. The annual demand for widgets is 10,000 units. The setup cost per batch is $50, and the carrying cost per unit per year is $1.

Using the EBQ formula, we can calculate the economic batch quantity to be 200 widgets. This means that the company should produce widgets in batches of 200 units in order to minimize the total average cost of production.


In cost accounting, EBQ is used to determine the most cost-effective way to produce a product. By producing in batches, companies can reduce the number of setups required and the amount of time that products are in inventory. This can lead to significant cost savings.

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