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Seeking support for increased exports

Philippines eyes Japanese avocado market

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Philippines is engaging with Japan to initiate the export of Hass avocados, aiming to penetrate a market valued at approximately $150 million. During discussions with Japanese Ambassador Endo Kazuya, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. expressed optimism for securing market access within the year. The conversations have advanced to a stage where a work plan addressing the phytosanitary requirements for importing Philippine avocados into Japan has been principally agreed upon. This development is part of the DA's broader strategy to enhance the export potential of high-value crops, following the successful negotiation for avocado exports to South Korea.

According to, Japan's avocado imports reached around $160 million in 2023, highlighting a significant opportunity for the Philippines, which currently exports avocados to eight international markets. However, the country witnessed a decline in avocado exports, totaling 1.04 million metric tons in 2023, a 30% decrease from the previous year.

In addition to avocados, Tiu Laurel advocated for a reduction of Japan's tariffs on Philippine bananas, a key export commodity, to bolster competitiveness and increase market share in Japan. The discussions also covered the potential for Japan to consider regionalization in assessing the Philippines' bird flu status, which could facilitate the export of processed poultry products.

Agri sector seeks Japan's support for increased exports
The Agriculture Secretary also engaged with the Japanese ambassador to advocate for other enhanced Philippine agricultural exports to Japan. The Department of Agriculture highlighted the need for tariff reductions on Philippine bananas, market access for fresh avocados, the revival of mango exports, and the potential for regionalization in exporting processed poultry products to Japan.

Bananas, being the Philippines' leading agricultural export to Japan, accounted for 3.4 million tons from 2020 to 2023. The DA emphasized that lowering tariffs could boost the competitiveness of Philippine bananas in Japan, where they are a staple. Between January and April 15, 2024, banana exports to Japan totaled 241,282 metric tons, with Cavendish bananas leading in the Japanese market.


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