Beef reared in the UK will now join pork, poultry, lamb and dairy to be shipped to the Philippines. Market access for beef was withdrawn in 1996 due to BSE concerns, with the ban continuing until 2001. This latest deal, estimated to be worth £34m over the next 5 years, follows a visit from a delegation of inspectors from the Philippines last year.

Hosted by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and AHDB (Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board), the deal was awarded when inspectors saw first-hand the UK's high animal welfare and food safety standards.

The Philippines is the largest food and drink market in south east Asia with meat consumption expected to grow by ten per cent over the next five years.

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Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of QMS (Quality Meat Scotland), the red meat industry promotional body, said the announcement was excellent news for the Scottish red meat industry. "The Philippines are a priority market for Scottish Beef PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) which has earned a global reputation for quality underpinned by one of the longest-running quality assurance schemes in the world."

The country first opened its doors to UK pork more than a decade ago, with the UK's market share increasing substantially over that period. UK pork shipments grew four times between 2015 and 2016, with pork offal shipments rising by 40 per cent in the same period.

The taste for UK dairy has also increased, with UK cheese sales more than tripling between 2015 and 2016 with a 37 per cent expected growth by 2025, due to low import tariffs.

Market round-up

United Auctions sold 475 store heifers at Stirling on Wednesday to a top of 263p per kg and an average of 224.8p (-2.8p on the week), while 564 store bullocks peaked at 274.2p and levelled at 229.4p (-7.5p). One-hundred-and-four store, B&W bullocks sold to 172.8p and averaged 167p (+10.2p), while 21 store bulls peaked at 230.3p and levelled at 198.2p (no comparison).

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 1550 prime lambs in Newton Stewart on Wednesday to a top of £100 per head and 240p per kg to average 191p (-1.6p).

The firm also sold 243 heavy cast ewes to a top of £115 for Suffolks and an average of £68.28, while 111 light ewes peaked at £50.50 for Blackfaces and levelled at £31.18.

The firm went on to sell 248 store heifers in Ayr yesterday to a top of £1295 per head and 242.1p per kg to average £893.93 and 216.1p (-4.9p on the fortnight), while 285 store, beef-bred bullocks peaked at £1430 and 252.6p to level at £974.30 and 221.8p (-6.8p). Sixty store, B&W bullocks sold to £900 and 179.6p to average £700.75 and 149.3p (-8.7p).

There were also 1074 store lambs forward at the opening sale of the season that sold to £78 for Beltex and averaged £58.34 (+59p on the year).