Colombian importers go shopping in Canada as FTA enters into force
Last year, Compania de Galletas Noel SAS imported $22,875,271 worth (the FOB value in US$ on 111,264,125 kilograms) of wheat from the US, Datamyne’s trade data shows. Next year, the Colombian maker of sweet cookies and savory crackers will be buying its wheat from Canada.
The Colombia-Canada free trade agreement just entered into force (on August 15). But Nutresa, Colombia’s leading food processor and parent of Compania de Galletas, announced months in advance that it would begin sourcing wheat from Canada as soon as the duty dropped to zero.
Grupo Nutresa takes the largest share of Colombia’s wheat imports, with two of its subsidiaries ranked among the top five importers, according to Datamyne’s Colombian data:
- Harinera del Valle SA
- Organizacion Solarte y CIA S C A UAP 350
- Compania De Galletas Noel (Grupo Nutresa)
- Molinos del Atlantico
- Productos Alimenticios Doria SA (pasta makers, also part of Grupo Nutresa, whose wheat imports were valued at $19,173,501 last year)
Wheat is already the top Canadian export to Colombia. The next four, in order: newsprint and paper, machinery and equipment, off-highway dumpers, and pulses (beans, peas, lentils). We’ve written before about Colombia’s importance to the US as a consumer of mining equipment and machinery and off-highway dumpers (this last is the fifth-ranked US export to Colombia). [See Scoping out Colombia.] We’ll be watching for defections from US suppliers to duty-free Canadian sources by Colombian companies buying in these key sectors.
Meanwhile, US Congressional leadership has announced a deal that should clear the way for final approval of the Colombia-US FTA after the summer recess, perhaps as early as September (but too late for the US suppliers of wheat to Compania de Galletas Noel).
Date posted: August 17, 2011