The Turkish government has expressed interest to improve bilateral trade with the Philippines after a two-year decline, following Manila’s imposition of anti-dumping duty on imported flour.
Turkish ambassador to the Philippines Esra Cankorur said Turkish exports to the Philippines had been on a decline since 2014.
“Bilateral trade [with the Philippines] has gone down since 2014 because wheat exports have significantly went down. We need to diversify trade products. Hopefully, the interest will continue both ways,” she said.
A net producer and exporter of wheat and flour, Turkey has been exporting flour to the Philippines over the past 10 years.
Flour is Turkey’s top export item to the Philippines, comprising about 60 percent of its total export revenue in 2013.
After the Philippine Tariff Commission slapped Turkish flour with graduated increase in tariff rate, Turkey’s flour exports declined to 252 million metric tons in 2015 from 314 million MT in 2014.
The anti-dumping lobby of local flour millers against flour imports resulted in the imposition of increased tariff rate on flour imported from Turkey.
Local flour prices also declined from a high of P890 per bag in 2014 to as low as P660 per bag currently, the lowest in ten years.
Flour millers from Turkey said the presence of Turkish flour in the local market ensured healthy competition and provided local bakers and small to medium-scale food producers a more affordable alternative.
Turkey exports mostly soft wheat flour which is used for manufacturing cereals and cereal snacks, biscuits, cookies, pastries, cakes, noodles and pasta in the Philippines.
Turkey Flour Group is currently in the Philippines to join a trade exhibition in Manila. Turkish Flour, Yeast and Ingredients chairman Turgay Unlu led Turkish delegates in the ongoing World Food Expo in Parañaque City.
The Turkish flour delegation is composed of five companies and four representatives of millers and traders from Central Anatolia.
Hosted by the US Department of Agriculture, Wofex opened on Aug. 3, 2016 at Solaire Resort and Casino.
Wofex is the Philippines’ largest annual food industry exhibition, featuring food and beverage products and the latest food processing equipment from around the world.