Increasing Philippines pig meat imports
The Philippines has emerged as a significant importer of pig meat with a steady growth in trade, of both pork and pig offals, in the last ten years. Even the UK now has a small but significant share of the market, especially in offals.
In 2016 imports of pork were up one third on 2015 to 78,000 tonnes compared to a little over 4,000 tonnes in 2006. In 2016, Germany and Canada were the largest suppliers with a 55% market share. Other significant EU suppliers are France and Spain. The United Kingdom has emerged as a small exporter to this market and shipments almost trebled in 2016 to 1,500 tonnes. However, UK export figures indicate a somewhat higher level of 3,200 tonnes in 2016.
The pig offal trade is even larger than for pork and imports in 2016 have more than doubled in the last four years. Germany and Spain are the largest suppliers accounting for 44% of total imports. The UK shipped 6,200 tonnes in 2016, up nearly 40% on a year earlier, yet in 2008 and 2009 only 130 tonnes were shipped.
In the first two months of 2017 there was some slowdown in Philippine imports of both pork and offals. Trade was down by around 2% in both cases. However, this did not prevent trade with the UK rising further.
Overall, opportunities to export pig products to the Philippines remain positive. The latest USDA forecasts anticipate a 10% increase in shipments this year, compared to 2016. This is partly due to domestic consumption outpacing improvements to Philippine production systems, despite a 5% production growth anticipated this year. Imported product is also reportedly required by processors to meet quality and presentation demands. The dominance of small “backyard” systems in the domestic industry means Philippine product is struggling to consistently meet these requirements.
The Philippines Department of Agriculture also recently announced the addition of an extra 7,000 tonnes of pork which is understood to come under the existing minimum access arrangements. Under the annual quota of 54,000 tonnes product can be imported at the lower (30%) tariff rate. The move is designed to prevent pork retail prices rising to levels deemed unacceptable. However, the Philippines must already import significant volumes of pork out of quota, which is subject to a 40% tariff, given the 78,000 tonnes imported in 2016.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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