Uncertainty slows US pork exports to Philippines

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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DENVER – In recent years, the Philippines has been a very bullish growth market for US red meat exports. But an uncertain regulatory environment has created mixed results in the Philippines so far in 2011.

This country represented approximately $12 million per year market for US pork and about $6 million per year for US beef just five years ago. But the market soared to new records in 2010 of $103 million for US pork and almost $30 million for US beef. This represents year-over-growth of about 35 percent for each protein group, and made the Philippines a top 10 market for US pork.

Strong processed meats demand has been a key reason behind this success, said Joel Haggard, US Meat Export Federation senior vice president for the Asia Pacific.

However, an uncertain regulatory environment has created mixed results in the Philippines in 2011, Haggard said. US beef has experienced growth of more than 30 percent in volume and 40 percent in value, but the Filipino pork industry has put intense pressure on the government to heavily regulate the sale of imported fresh or frozen meat. The impact of these proposed regulations could be much greater on pork than on beef, and it has resulted in Filipino pork importers being very cautious in their purchasing this year.

As a result, US pork exports to this market are down by about one-third in volume compared to last year, and down about 22 percent in value.
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