Irish beef exports to the Philippines are up significantly this year with over 6,000t of beef shipped to the country between January and July of this year.
The latest CSO figures tally with those of the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney who said that he recently concluded an extension to our market access to the Philippines, where already this year there has been almost €10m of beef exports from Ireland, making us the second largest exporter of beef into the Philippines.
The demand for meat in the Philippines has traditionally been pork and fish with poultry consumption recording steady growth in recent times.
There is however, a growing demand for beef as the population grows and the economy returns to strong levels of growth following the financial crisis of 2008.
The Minister also said this week that that becoming the first EU Member State to gain access to the US was a major reputational boost for the country.
“The US market was opened to Irish beef exports in January 2015. Feedback from exporters eligible to export beef to the US indicates that exports to date had reached approximately 330 tonnes by early September.
“This would have an approximate value of €2.1m. This is a very encouraging start, particularly given that the trade to date is confined to the market for intact cuts as we currently await approval to export beef intended for grinding.
“It must be remembered that only two plants were eligible to export up to mid-May and June respectively.
“There are now six plants approved to export and my understanding is that this momentum in exports will continue and grow right through to the end of 2015.
“As with any new market it takes time to build reputational brand and a customer base and the real time to assess its value is when these are bedded down,” he said.
The Minister also pointed to the relatively high prices available for beef in Europe this year means that US buyers can be priced out of the market and Irish exporters are choosing to send product to more valuable markets in the UK and on the continent.
According to the Minister, exports to the UK are up 4,000t compared with the same period in 2014 and this coincides with a reduced kill overall (back about 6% year on year) highlighting further the strength of Irish beef exports in the UK.
“This of course is helped by a strong sterling and weak euro,” he said.
The Chinese authorities decided in February 2015 to lift the BSE ban on boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age from Ireland making us the first EU MS to achieve this goal.
In the his latest update on trade to the market he said the move, while very significant, does not permit trade to commence and his Department is working closely with its counterparts in China to conclude the necessary technical steps, which need to be completed before trade commences.
Other international markets
The Minister also recently week pointed to significant progress in facilitating trade in other international markets for Irish beef.
“We are currently in the process of trying to secure beef access to other third countries including Korea, Vietnam and Mexico.
“It is my intention to continue to focus on developing as many third country markets as possible in order to provide exporters as many commercial opportunities as possible in a competitive global marketplace,” he said.