Audio: Wide Range of Red Meat Products Drives Record Exports to the Philippines

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Joel Haggard, 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 percent from 2017, valued at $116.1 million (up 19 percent). Beef exports were nearly 18,000 mt valued at $87 million – up 39 percent and 42 percent, 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.


Joe Schuele: U.S. Meat Export Federation Senior Vice President Joel Haggard just completed a market visit to the Philippines where he helped lead a team of ag industry leaders from Iowa on an examination of one of the world’s fastest growing meat import markets. Haggard has more in this USMEF report:

Joel Haggard: Last week we hosted and traveled with a group of Iowa meat, livestock and grain industry representatives in Manila. The Philippines recently posted its 2018 trade numbers which showed very aggressive meat and poultry import growth. The overall market trend consists of increased meat consumption and trade. On a tonnage basis, the country’s already the sixth largest meat and poultry import market, and last year’s total imports surged to approximately 850,000 tonnes, nearly 20% above 2017. The U.S. exported over $200 million of beef and pork to the Philippines, a record level and 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.

Joe Schuele: Exporters serving the Philippines face price-point challenges, but Haggard sees room for significant further growth:

Joel Haggard: The country on one hand is very sensitive to international prices. The Philippines remains poor with a fifth of its population below the Philippine definition of a poverty line, and the majority of the proteins it imports are further processed into low-cost items such as hot dogs, canned meat and formed ham products. But overall economic growth is also creating a consumption upgrade effect which has seen more demand for more premium items. We saw evidence of economic growth everywhere including new restaurant and retail concepts. We just saw more of them during this trip. USMEF continues to place more and more resources into the market. We established permanent representation in Manila in the spring of 2016 and we look forward to spending more time and resources there in the future.

Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.