MANILA, Philippines – Small flour millers are asking the Department of Agriculture (DA) to investigate the alleged dumping of Turkish flour into the country.
The Philippine Association of Flour Millers (PAFMIL) yesterday said it filed a petition before the DA in May seeking a public hearing on the issue and to coordinate with the Tariff Commission to institute safeguards against the supposed dumping of Turkish flour.
“We asked the DA to look into the matter and conduct a public hearing.
Afterwards, it can coordinate with the Tariff Commission to put in place the necessary safeguards,” said PAFMIL executive director Ric Pinca.
“We hope to get a favorable ruling because we believe we have a strong case.”
PAFMIL alleged that Turkish flour exportation to the Philippines at dumping prices violates World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
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Dumping occurs when a country exports a commodity at prices lower than its domestic prices.
“When a country exports products at dumping prices, it is engaged in unfair trade. Thus, we are up against a group of flour exporters engaging in unfair trade,” said Pinca.
PAFMIL noted that in 2010, average export price of Turkish flour was $276 per metric ton while their domestic price was $600 per MT.
In 2011, export price was at an average of $388 per MT against Turkish domestic price of $600 per MT.
Last year, it was $340 against their domestic price of $470 per MT.
PAFMIL said Turkish flour exports to the Philippines grew by 16 percent in 2011 and by 71 percent in 2012.
In contrast, the local flour industry grew by only one to two percent during the 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. One only needs to look at the trend to realize the danger to our food security from the threat of unimpeded Turkish flour entry brings,” said Pinca.
PAFMIL said that while Indonesian, Vietnamese, Australian and Indian flour are being exported to the Philippines, flour from these countries are sold at “fair prices.”
“Local flour millers can compete with them because the terms are even.
Turkish flour, however, is not a fair competitor,” said Pinca.
PAFMIL represents small flour mills in the country. Bigger mills belong to the Chamber of Philippine Flour Millers (Champflour).