Tariff on flour imports to raise bread prices

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Bread. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Consumers should brace themselves for a possible increase in bread prices this September, as importers of Turkish flour will no longer be able to supply bakers with the low-priced flour.

The price of the Pinoy Tasty is expected to go up by about P3 to P4 per loaf from its current price of P37, while the cost of a 10-piece pack Pinoy Pandesal may increase by up to P2, according to the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association Inc. (FCBAI) and the Philippine Baking Industry Group (Philbaking).

In their joint statement, the groups noted that the inability of importers to supply Turkish flour is “a big concern to the bakers because this means that they will be forced to use the higher-priced local flour to produce breads, more particularly the Pinoy Tasty and Pinoy Pandesal.”

Produced by small neighborhood bakers, the Pinoy Tasty and Pinoy Pandesal refer to the brand name of affordable bread products that use the cheaper Turkish flour.

Local flour importers have stopped importing Turkish flour due to the pending petition by the Philippine Association of Flour Millers (Pafmil) to hike the tariff to 20 percent from the current 7 percent. The group stressed that Turkish flour millers are exporting flour to the Philippines “at dumping prices which is in violation of World Trade Organization rules.” This, Pafmil claimed, puts local millers to a disadvantage.

FCBAI claimed that the Harinang Pinoy, which was developed by Pafmil as a low-priced alternative to imported flour, was a “failure” due to its poor quality.

“Our members reported failures, up to 20 percent rejections, resulting in big losses,” said FCBAI president Benito Lim.

Philbaking president Walter Co noted that bakers are now on a panic-buying mode, snapping up the remaining Turkish flour before it disappears in the local market by September.

Co is also appealing to the Department of Agriculture to allow the continued importation of Turkish flour without an increase on tariff to ensure that bakers can still avail of low-priced flour, at least until December this year.

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  • critique111

    Your staple food is rice. So why consume four a foreign staple food? Eat rice, same food value, and much cheaper.

  • gringoloco

    Wrong poor people, by the millions living in poor areas of the country only worry about the prices they have to pay for bread, flour , etc, etc.
    Explain to the million of children going to bed with no food every night because taxes imposed by Mr. Aquino go up.
    Where is the sin taxes money goes right now?
    After six month been collected by the administration of Mr. Aquino?
    Shame of you Mr. Aquino.
    Be careful people is getting tired of you.
    Strop sending people to bed with no food.

    • Garo Ungaro

      When the leech suck blood when full they stop? What will happened to the very poor when their main staple daily bread is been suck out of their table?..We never learn our lesson…?

  • gringoloco

    This government is doing everything in their power to make the poor poorer and to kill the middle class family.
    President Aquino is the number one enemy of the working class.

    • manufacturer2

      Government is actually saving jobs in the industry by raising the tariffs of Turkish flour, which Turkey is producing excess of and selling here at dumping prices against WTO regulations. Even worse, the fil-chinese bakery association smuggles, or buys smuggled flour. They will raise prices even if the local flour they buy is cheaper.

      • parefrank

        But the local flour is not cheaper, only its quality. The real matter is that flour which has to be transported 10000 kilometer, is import taxed and produced with much higher labor costs, is still cheaper than local milled flour. It may be sold cheaper for exports, but still not so much cheaper or they make losses.

      • manufacturer2

        You know not of what you talk about. Local flour is cheaper and just as good, if not better, than Turkish flour. Turkey is dumping prices just so they can use the excess capacity of their machines. That’s the only reason why they are cheaper. The other reason is smuggling.

  • Garo Ungaro

    When will this leeches stop sucking poor for something basic in poor peoples daily staple food…? Imposing higher tariff on basic staple daily food is just so sick…?

    • manufacturer2

      The tariff is so the local manufacturers of flour can compete. Turkey has been dumping their excess production flour at a dumping price into the Philippines against WTO regulations. These fil-chinese bakers are also smuggling flour into the country. They will raise the price even if the flour they buy locally is cheaper to buttress their story that imported flour is cheaper.

      • Garo Ungaro

        Can you explain that to the poor people who has nothing to eat?..By imposing higher tariff so your business is fine your lucky your still eating (3) times a day and had business to rely on…But this poor only rely on the bread they can buy at an affordable level…Now your removing them from their table?…Because you and the local farmers are losing money? If your losing money the instinct tells you, out. Locally grown/smuggled flour they are all money making business at the expense of the very poor…Its a shame!…

      • manufacturer2

        First, I am not in the flour industry. Second, it is not the businessmen who should take care of the poor. It is the government. And, the government needs to stop coddling smugglers for us to have jobs in the industries that products are smuggled.

      • Garo Ungaro

        Its always a chain reaction, government sucked businessmen and businessmen sucked it to consumers? When your hungry and poor there’s no such things as reasons…Anarchy sets in?…Everybody is the loser…Back to square one…?

      • manufacturer2

        What you are suggesting is a chicken or egg dilemma.
        That is not the case. It is government that makes the tariff
        structure of the country. It is government that prosecutes
        activities such as smuggling. It is government that must protect
        the efficiencies that the manufacturing sector has implemented to deliver goods that are less costly. But, most importantly, it is government that needs to make sure all these things are happening in unison so jobs can be saved and created.

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