Ireland was the second largest exporter of beef to the Philippines last year

In 2015, the Philippines imported over 586,000 tonnes of meat, according to James O’Donnell, Asia Office Manager for Bord Bia.

He says pork remains the largest item accounting for 43% of the total, followed by chicken 34% while beef imports were 86,000 tonnes or 15% share.

Pork imports in 2015 declined slightly over the volume level the previous year while beef imports increased by over 10%.

O’Donnell says pork imports are heavily dominated by bellies (for processing) which accounted for around 30% of the total while fats, rind/ skin and by-products accounted for the bulk of the balance.

“Premium cuts accounted for around 45,000 tonnes which is small in terms of the overall balance, however while the overall pork imports remained relatively static, cuts increased by over 11% which reflects a change in the import requirement as consumer incomes increase.

“In terms of country of origin: Germany, Spain and France provided 28%, 14% and 13% respectively while Ireland supplied in the region of 6,000 tonnes,” he said.

Beef exports

Compared to 2014, O’Donnell says beef imports (excluding buffalo) increased by 11% to reach 86,300 tonnes. Beef cuts principally forequarter, flank and trimmings accounts for the bulk of the trade.

He said the main supplier was Australia which accounted for over 44% of imports while Ireland was the second largest source of supply at 11,500 tonnes.

In August 2014, the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, announced that the Philippines had re-opened to Irish beef, sheepmeat and pigmeat from Ireland.

The agreement meant that a total of 43 Irish beef processing establishments have been accredited to export to the Philippines, with a further 39 pig processing establishments and 29 sheep processing establishments.