IMPORT BRIEFS

IMPORT BRIEFS

Canada: Farm Exports

To Rise With US PactCanadian farmers will benefit from increased and secure export markets if the U.S.-Canadian free trade agreement is implemented, a Canadian government report said.

While short on specific predictions for the various agriculture sectors, the report said there would be opportunities to sell additional high-quality wheat, oats, canola oil and soyoil to the United States and to increase shipments of grain-finished cattle to the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

The report called for reduced trade in canola meal of up to 75 percent, which would be offset by canola oil exports increasing by as much as 10 percent a year beginning in 1989.

Dutch Top Japanese

In US Electronics Field

The Dutch firm, NV Philips, has overtaken Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., as the No. 1 foreign electronics firm in the United States, Electronic Business magazine said.

An analysis of America's top 40 foreign electronics firms for the fiscal year ended in March 1987 indicates Philips sold $3.9 billion worth of electronics equipment in the United States last year.

Second-ranked Matsushita, which markets products under several brand names - including Panasonic, Quasar, National and Technics - sold $3.7 billion worth of equipment.

In 1985 and 1986, Matsushita was the top foreign company in the United States. Matsushita attributed the slippage in the most recent fiscal year to the weakened U.S. dollar and price competition in consumer electronics.

In recent times, sales of video and audio equipment to North America, two of Matsushita's principal lines, have declined.

Philips, however, is more diversified than Matsushita. Although the company makes compact discs, VCRs and other consumer electronics equipment, it also sells medical equipment and industrial electronics in the United States.

Cocoa Prices Fall

As Talks Hit Snag

LONDON - Cocoa prices fell to new five-year lows in London on March 3, as emergency measures to halt the slide were threatened by difficulties at talks between producers and consumers.

The International Cocoa Organization's indicator of average world market values stood at 1,299.55 special drawing rights, equivalent to $1,763.30 a ton.

Officials said the producing countries were resisting a cut in the minimum price at which the organization buys cocoa for buffer stocks to keep prices falling even lower. They said the purchasing policy was threatened by large arrears in payments by the producers to the buffer stock fund.

Ivory Coast, the world's biggest producer, owes more than $30 million and Brazil owes about $7 million. It's my impression that the producers are not prepared to negotiate a price adjustment, consumer countries' spokesman Peter Baron told reporters after the initial talks with producers.

He said if the producers don't have a change of heart the present impasse could paralyze everything, including the introduction of a plan to keep prices up by holding cocoa stocks back from the market.

Hilton Gets Inquiries

On Waikiki Complex

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Hilton Hotels Corp. said it has been asked by Japanese investors about the possibility of selling its 22-acre Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach.

However, the company's chairman and chief executive, Barron Hilton, denied a report that the investors had offered $1 billion, noting that price would equate to about $340,000 a room, which is less than other hotels in Hawaii have fetched.

He also said the company has recently spent $100 million refurbishing the 2,524-room complex, which is owned jointly with Prudential Insurance Co. of America.

Hilton didn't identify the investors, but said the overtures were unsolicited and that no formal discussions had been held.

Despite giving an indication of what price would need to be paid for the property, Hilton said, The hotel is not on the market. We do not feel it is in the best interest of our company to sell the Village at this time.