AGRICULTURAL exports from the United States to the Philippines are expected to rise 10% to $3.2 billion in 2019, led by soybeans, soybean meal, wheat, dairy products, red meat and poultry, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA noted that US is the largest exporter of agricultural goods to the Philippines while the Philippines is the 11th largest global market for US agricultural products.
“The Philippines’ rapidly expanding food and beverage processing industry presents robust opportunities for US exporters of agricultural raw materials and high-value ingredients. About 65% of total US agricultural exports to the Philippines flow through the food and beverage processing industry,” the USDA said.
“While wheat, dairy products, meat, and poultry comprise the bulk of sales, other items such as tree nuts and other processed fruit and vegetables play an increasingly important role. There is a generally favorable view of US products which Philippine food and beverage processors exploit by highlighting US ingredients on product labels,” USDA added.
“Some US high-value agricultural exports to the Philippines face higher tariffs than competing products imported from ASEAN and ASEAN-FTA (Free Trade Area) member countries such as Australia, New Zealand, China and India. However, the Philippines’ participation in free trade agreements also provide a valuable path for US agricultural raw materials and ingredients to grow in tandem with Philippine exports and penetrate markets throughout the region,” USDA said.
Agricultural raw materials seen as most promising in the Philippines include poultry cuts, mechanically deboned meat, trimmings and beef offal, milk whey powder, cheese and other dairy products.
“The wide acceptance food processors and consumers have for US raw materials and ingredients is a tremendous advantage for US exporters seeking to develop a market in the Philippines,” according to USDA.
The USDA said earlier that wheat imports to the Philippines are expected to rise 8.62% to 6.3 million metric tons (MT) this year, due to strong demand for wheat products amid higher rice and corn prices.
Philippine Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that such expected growth “is an indication of a growing livestock and poultry industry.” — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio