Following the closure of the US market to Brazilian beef in June, the Philippines has now followed suit, at least on a temporary basis.

This was following the rejection of almost 500t of beef following the finding of salmonella.

It is expected, however, that the closure will be temporary while Philippines officials undertake an inspection tour of Brazil.

The EU undertook a similar inspection tour in the aftermath of Operation Weak Flesh back in March although they only suspended factories that were involved in the controversy.

UK clearance

It has been a case of the Philippines closing one door to imports and opening another.

At the beginning of this week, it was announced that the UK has been cleared to export beef to the Philippines, almost a decade after seeking approval.

Given the current weakness of sterling, this market provides immediate and real opportunities which will be welcome in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Philippines market

The Philippines is an extremely price-sensitive beef market and mainly a buyer of higher fat content beef flanks which is a lower value part of the carcase.

With Brazil, one of the most cost-competitive international beef sellers out of the picture, there could be an opportunity for immediate business.

However, it is understood that while the decision has been made in principle to take UK beef, some certification details remain to be worked out which will delay the start of trade.

The Philippines has consistently been one of the top third country export destinations for Irish beef over recent years.

Read more

JBS continues asset sell-off

Brexit must rule beef out of Mercosur deal