Canadian wheat making inroads into the Philippine market

by Teresa Acklin
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   MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Canadian wheat has been gaining inroads into the Philippine market the past five years and could double its market share in 1999 to 30%, the head of the Philippine Association of Flour Millers said recently.

   Ric Pinca, executive director of the association, said the eight member flour mills bought 215,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat and 139,000 tonnes of Canadian wheat in the first five months of the year. The Philippines has 13 flour mills.

   Mr. Pinca said Canada had been “actively promoting their product,” but said the U.S. would remain the major source for Philippine wheat buyers because local buyers prefer the quality.

   Still, U.S. wheat declined to 81% of total imports in 1998, from 91% in 1994, and Canada's imports increased to 14% in 1998, compared with 1% in 1994, he said.

   Mr. Pinca said that because of the Philippines' recovering economy, total wheat imports were expected to increase in 1999 over the 2.053 million tonnes imported in 1998.

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