Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, just completed a market visit to the Philippines, where he helped lead a delegation of producers and other ag industry leaders from Iowa on an examination of one of the world's fastest-growing red meat import markets.
2018 was a record-breaking year for U.S. exports to the Philippines, with pork exports of nearly 48,000 metric tons (mt), up 23% from 2017, valued at $116.1 million (up 19%). Beef exports were nearly 18,000 mt valued at $87 million - up 39% and 42%, respectively.
Haggard explains that while a large percentage of U.S. export volume to the Philippines consists of lower-cost muscle cuts and variety meat used for further processing, rapid economic growth is helping generate demand for higher-end products. He notes that USMEF has increased its presence and the level of promotional activities in the Philippines in recent years, and this trend will likely continue as new growth opportunities emerge.