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Philippines are split into two on flour import from Turkey

05 August 20133 min reading
Representatives of flour and flour products in Philippines have dissented about importing cheap flour from Turkey. The Philippine Association of Flour Millers (Pafmil) claims that if the additional duty was not imposed on Turkish flour, the local flour industry would disappear; according to the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association (FCBA) additional duty would increase bread prices. Representatives of flour and flour products in Philippines have dissented about importing flour from Turkey. The Philippine Association of Flour Millers (Pafmil) declared that if the government kept buying cheap Turkish flour, thousands of workers employed by local flour mills could join the ranks of the unemployed. Pafmil Executive Director Ric M. Pinca said the entry of more Turkish flour in the domestic market has already threatened the viability of the local flour milling industry and he added: “Turkish flour export to the Philippines grew by 16 percent in 2011 and a mind-boggling 71 percent in 2012. In contrast, the local flour industry grew by only 1 percent to 2 percent during same period. If this trend continues, there will no longer be a flour milling industry in the Philippines in just a few years and should this happen, the entire country will be left at the mercy of Turkey for our flour supply.” THE PRICES COULD INCREASE 10-15 % Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association (FCBA) said the price of pan de sal could go up if the government would impose additional duty on Turkish flour. The group warned that the price of Pinoy pan de sal, other bread products, biscuits and noodles could go up by 10 percent to 15 percent if additional duty is imposed on Turkish flour. The group said: “Due to cheaper Turkish flour, Filipino consumers enjoy lower priced breads and other flour-based products such as dry noodles, biscuits and fishballs”. THE ANTI-DUMPING PETITION IS ONLY AGAINST TURKISH FLOUR After FCBA’s explanation, Pafmil, for its part, said its anti-dumping petition is only against Turkish flour because exporters of the commodity engage in “unfair trade practice.” “There are Indonesian flour, Vietnamese flour, Australian flour and even Indian flour being exported to the Philippines. Why is Pafmil not complaining about these flours? Because the Indonesians, Australians and Vietnamese flour millers are not dumping their flour, meaning their prices are based on verifiable market rates,” said Pinca. “They are competing with us fairly and on even terms. That is fair competition. Local flour millers can compete with them because the terms are even. Turkish flour, however, is not a fair competitor,” he added. Citing Pafmil data, Pinca said the average export price of Turkish flour was $276 per ton, while the domestic price was at $600 per ton in 2010. In 2011 he said, the export price was at an average of $388 per ton, while the domestic price was pegged at $600 per ton. Last year Turkish flour for export was priced at $340 per ton while those sold in Turkey’s domestic price was priced at $470 per ton. The group filed its anti-dumping petition against Turkish flour before the Department of Agriculture (DA) on May 29. Pafmil hopes the government would take its cue from Indonesia, which imposed a 20-percent duty on Turkish flour. Manila imposes a 7-percent duty on the product.
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