Flour importers, bakeries seek postponement of tariff increases for Turkish flour


breads. File photo

MANILA, Philippines—Bakery owners and flour importers are seeking to postpone the evaluation of the proposed tariff increase on imported Turkish flour to January 2014, as this will enable affected stakeholders to better manage their supplies, and ensure stable prices for bread and noodles.

Ernesto Chua, chair of the Filipino-Chinese Business Council and president of flour importer Malabon Longlife Trading Corp., said it would be better for the Department of Agriculture to conduct the evaluation of the tariff case during the “lean months” of January to March, when no shipments of Turkish flour are expected.

The postponement will also allow flour importers to better plan their shipments of Turkish flour for the rest of the year. As it is, Malabon Longlife has already stopped importing this kind of flour, whose tariff is being petitioned to increase to 20 percent from the current 7 percent.

According to Chua, the last batch of their Turkish flour orders are expected to arrive by August, and none are expected for the rest of the year, pending the decision of the DA. He said it would be difficult for companies like them to keep importing Turkish flour at the risk of tariffs being raised, should the government give in to the petition of the Philippine Association of Flour Millers (Pafmil).

Earlier this week, Pafmil renewed its push for a tariff increase on imported Turkish flour, even as bakers warned that this would push up bread prices by as much as 15 percent.

This impending price hike is equivalent to a P1 increase in the price of bread and around 50 centavos for the Pinoy Pandesal bringing it to P3.50 per piece. Produced by small neighborhood bakers, Pinoy Pandesal is the brand name of affordable bread products that use the cheaper Turkish flour.

“There is no urgency to decide on this petition since the flour millers earned well last year, proof that they were not affected by Turkish flour imports,” Chua stressed.

The DA is expected to start evaluating the petition of Pafmil by August, as it has given another 15 days to all affected stakeholders to submit their comments. The 15 days began on Wednesday this week, after which the DA will start the evaluation, which is expected to last for a month, according to Agriculture Assistant Secretary Salvador Salacup.

The DA will then forward its recommendation to the Tariff Commission for final evaluation.

Pafmil and the bakers group, represented by the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association Inc. (FCBA), are at odds over the proposal to hike tariffs on Turkish flour.

Currently, Turkish flour costs about 30 percent (P200) less than locally milled flour and is preferred by bread and noodle makers, according to a statement issued earlier by the FCBA.

The group of bakery owners or producers of bread, noodles, cakes, pastries, pizza, siopao, pandesal, cookies and biscuits disclosed that hard flour or bread flour from Turkey was sold at P700 per 25-kilogram bag, while soft flour costs P620 per bag. In contrast, the price of locally milled flour costs anywhere from P900 to P950 a bag.

Since flour represented more than 50 percent of the cost of bread production, an increase in the price of flour would automatically translate into higher bread prices.

Pafmil, however, stressed that Turkish flour millers are exporting flour to the Philippines “at dumping prices which is in violation of World Trade Organization rules.” This puts local millers to a disadvantage.

Pafmil also said that Philippine importation of Turkish flour grew by 16 percent in 2011 and by 71 percent in 2012, while the local flour industry grew by only one to 2 percent during the same periods. If this trend were to continue, there would no longer be a flour milling industry in the Philippines in just a few years and should this happen, the entire country would be left at the mercy of Turkey for its flour supply, Pafmil earlier claimed.

Chua pointed out, however, that Turkish flour represented only 9 percent of total supply in the country, while the bulk of the volumes (89 percent) was still being supplied by Pafmil member companies.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

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  • Marx Louis Wang

    “Currently, Turkish flour costs about 30 percent (P200) less than locally
    milled flour and is preferred by bread and noodle makers, according to a
    statement issued earlier by the FCBA.”

    Malayo na nga ang pinanggalingan mas mura pa? Samting is rong hir! Pakana na ng mga negosiyante ito. Ang nabibiyayaan ay ang mga Turkish! Siyempre sa sobra ng arina nila mas mura, mas buhay sila. Ang mga negosyante natin ang hanap palagi malaking tubo, wala silang paki sa sariling bayan basta sila malaki tubo.

    Piripino laki mata pelo liit kita.
    Instsik liit mata pelo laki kita.

  • Noelnoel Munro

    Food Supply is the next Oil.

  • manufacturer2

    Pagisipan nalang natin ito:
    Papaano magiging trenta porsyentong mas mababa
    ang arina ng Turkey kung hindi sila price dumping
    at kung nag babayad ng tamang bwis ang mga importer?
    Sa madaling salita, dalawa lang ang sanhi ng presyong
    mas mababa. Price dumping, na illegal, at smuggling, na illegal din.
    Haaaay, talaga nga naman itong mga tsinong to!

  • Marx Louis Wang

    ‘tragis naman, ang layo naman ng pinanggalingan ng arinang ginagamit natin? Di ba ang ang arorot puwedeng gawing arina at mas masarap pa ito? Sa atin naman kasi kailangan talagang matuto kung papaanong huwag nang mag-import! Tamad ba talaga tayong mga pinoy?

    • pubringjuandelacruz

      hindi nman mga pinoy ang problema dito, kundi ang mga intsik na ayaw tumangkilik ng sariling produktong pilipino.

      • Marx Louis Wang

        so, ang instsik ang nag-i import ng arina sa Turkey, at ang sariling arina natin ini-snob? bakit kaya? meron ba tayong produkto ng arina o kakaunti lang o meron man napakamahal at nabubulok lang dahil sa mahal.

    • Filpino

      hindi pinoy ang tamad kundi ang mga intsik na pinoy na gusto lang kumita sa sarili nila.

      • Marx Louis Wang

        e, bakit tinatangkilik ang mga intsik? kasi po, hindi sila naghahangad ng malalaking profit kaya sila ang puntahan ng mga pinoy, kaya malaki ang volume ng customers nila, ang pinoy gusto biglang yaman!

      • Filpino

        kaya tinatangkilik ang mga shops ng intsik dahil na rin sa kaduapangan ng mga intsik. sinasamantala nila ang pagiging walang puhunan ng mga pinoy at sila silang mga intsik ang naghihiraman ng kanikanilang puhunan para ipang tayo ng mga stores nila gamit ang dummies na mga pinoy. yumaman ang mgaintsik dito dahil narin sa kakapiranggot na pa sweldo nila sa mga manggagawang pinoy na di pa nilanireregular.

      • Marx Louis Wang

        At isa pa, marunong silang magpaikot ng pera nila.

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