USMEF eyes the Philippines as the next important market in Asia
US Meat Export Federation looks to increase the volumes of meat exported to the Philippines as the country is showing signs of financial stability and growth, which help increase its imports of food.
Last year was a record-breaking year for US exports to the Philippines, with pork exports of nearly 48,000 tonnes, up 23% from 2017, valued at $116.1 million, up 19%. Beef exports were nearly 18,000 tonnes valued at $87 million - up 39% and 42%, respectively.
"The overall market trend consists of increased meat consumption and trade. On a tonnage basis, the country is already the sixth largest meat and poultry import market and last year’s total imports surged to approximately 771,000 tonnes, nearly 20% above 2017", mentioned Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia-Pacific region.
In his opinion, rapid economic growth is helping generate demand for higher-end products. Currently, "the portfolio of cuts ranges from very high-end steaks to very inexpensive items such as pork ear base, pork livers and other lower cost variety meats", he explained.
USMEF has increased its presence and the level of promotional activities in the Philippines in recent years, with the last one consisting in a red meat application seminar for chefs and restaurant owners in Pampanga, a bustling province northwest of Manila.
Pampanga is considered to be the culinary capital of the Philippines and is three times the size of Singapore and twice the size of Hong Kong. Several investments in the area pave the way to future opportunities for food exporters.
"There are a lot of things developing in the region – for example, the Clark International Airport and the Manila Clark Railway – that have many believing that Pampanga has the potential to become a sort of ‘Gateway to Asia’ for tourists. With this in mind, USMEF has decided to be aggressive and take the opportunity to share information about US pork, beef and lamb with restaurant professionals who work in the growing area," said Monica Regaspi, USMEF representative in the Philippines.
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