Philippines restores tariff on feed wheat imports
The Philippines has officially decided to restore a 7% tariff on feed wheat imports and extend a zero duty on imports of food wheat for another six months, Trade Secretary Peter Favila announced.
Since January there were no import tariffs on both food and feed wheat to keep bread prices low and aid the local feed sector. This zero-tariff was to last for six months.
Imports of food wheat were charged a 3% duty previously, but officials said maintaining the current zero duty on flour wheat imports should reduce bread prices.
A government panel had recommended bringing back the 7% duty on feed wheat imports to encourage local corn farmers to boost output in the second half of 2009.
Pig farmers earlier said the 7% tariff equates to additional cost of P700 (€ 10.41) per tonne of imported feed wheat.
Philippine corn production is forecast to drop 2.5% to 3.21 million tonnes in the first half of 2009, according to government estimates, on unfavourable weather and decreased number of hectares.
On the other hand the government expects corn output to rise 2.3% to 2.31 million tonnes in the third quarter.
The zero tariff for wheat has partly encouraged the feed industry to import more than 1.1 million tonnes of feed wheat this year, scheduled for delivery until August. This in comparison to just 112,000 tonnes in all of 2008 when high prices turned off buyers.
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