Record $3.1 billion agriculture imports from US expected this year
The US continues to be a major supplier of agricultural products with soybean meal, wheat, dairy products, prepared food, and processed vegetables as among the major products.
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Record $3.1 billion agriculture imports from US expected this year

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines continues to increase its dependence on agricultural products coming from the US as imports are expected to reach a record $3.1 billion this year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Despite COVID-19 disruptions to trade flows, business operations, and consumer welfare, US agricultural exports to the Philippines are up 12 percent through September 2020, while yearend sales will top 2019 by seven percent,” the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service said.

“High-value, consumer-oriented food and beverage products with the best prospects for future export growth include fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry, prepared food, processed fruit and vegetables, and red meat,” it said.

The US continues to be a major supplier of agricultural products with soybean meal, wheat, dairy products, prepared food, and processed vegetables as among the major products.

The Philippines, in turn, is the US’ ninth largest global market. It is also the largest market in Southeast Asia for US consumer-oriented food and beverage products.

American culture and trends continue to have strong influence on Filipinos, supported by shared history and people-to-people exchanges.

About four million Filipino-Americans constitute a major immigrant group in the US, while around 350,000 US citizens are present in the Philippines at any given time.

According to the USDA, consumers have a strong preference for US culture, including food and beverage products, as well as the growing demand for “healthy, organic, gourmet, and convenience foods.”

Another factor is that modern supermarket chains and quick service restaurant franchises are expected to resume expansion in key provincial cities, which brings increased access to imported foods and beverages.

“Real steps are being taken to improve the regulatory environment, including through the Ease of Doing Business Act,” USDA said.

The peso is also strengthening versus the US dollar, while the Philippines generally maintains low applied tariffs, often close to the preferential rates offered to US competitors.

Meanwhile, top high-value consumer-oriented food and beverage products with best prospects for future export growth include baking ingredients, beverages, dairy, processed, dried, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, flavors and syrups, frozen meat, poultry and seafood, processed products and nuts.

AGRICULTURE IMPORTS US
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