Irish beef exports to the Philippines in the first nine months of 2015 totalled 2,200t, according to the AHDB.

However, this is down considerably on last year’s levels when Ireland sent 5,000t of beef to the Philippines from October to December, it says.

Despite quantities from Ireland appearing to be relatively small, outside of the EU, the Philippines is Ireland’s largest market for beef, while Ireland is the Philippines fourth largest supplier.

However, despite these exports to the Philippines in 2015 being quite disappointing, it says that Philippine imports last year recovered to levels not seen since 2008.

According to the AHDB, this was largely driven by supplies from India and Australia with both countries supplying and extra 24,000t in 2014 compared to 2013.

These increased supplies occurred during a period when domestic production in the Philippines had been steady, producing more than 400,000t of beef in 2014 which is up 7% on 2008 levels.

However, it indicates that concerns have been raised that suggest that the government is favouring domestic production by imposing stricter laws to raise import costs and to protect domestic production.

According to the AHDB, the opportunity in the Philippines is believed to be twofold. Firstly, there is the suggestion that access has the potential to open up other markets in the region.

Secondly, it says, improved economic performance has encouraged Filipino consumers, who traditionally have been known to lead a somewhat frugal existence, to start to spend some of their new-found wealth.

GDP per capita has increased by almost 37% between 2005 and 2014 while the population has also grown by 1.5% in the last decade.

According to the AHDB, the Philippine economy continues to grow and it will present increased opportunities for exports of beef from lots of regions.

However, EU beef could be challenged in a number of ways. Not only by competitively priced beef from countries such as Brazil but also the burden of red tape for a place at the table.