Export Potential for Meat and Meat products to the Middle East

A recent study carried out by the Council using data from the latest international trade in Meat and Meat products to the Middle East contained some valuable market indicators for players hoping to venture into the market.
According to the data, total imports of meat and meat products in the Middle East region were estimated at US $ 5.1 billion. It was observed from analysis that this accounts for 6.5% of the total world demand valued at US $ 86.4 billion in 2009. The analysis reveals that the top importing countries in the region include Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran and Israel, all accounting for about 80% of total imports in the region. Out of the top markets all the markets showed an increase in the value of imports over the period 2005 – 2009. The analysis further reveals that Kenya is a marginal supplier and supplied the Middle East with meat and meat products worth US $ 3.1 million in 2009, accounting for less than 1% of the market share.

Nevertheless, opportunity for Kenya lies in:-
  • Penetrating markets where entry has already been gained, as follows; Beef and Beef products in UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain; Goat and sheep meat in UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman; Swine meat in UAE, Oman and Bahrain; Offal meat in UAE, Oman and Bahrain.
  • Kenya should also venture into the markets that are supplied by Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania with Beef, offal meat and Sheep and Goat Meat as the countries have homogeneous products due to similar climatic conditions. These markets include Saudi Arabia, for Sheep and Goat, offal and Beef; Oman market for Sheep and Goat meat, offal.
  • The country should also develop niche marketing strategies into the Middle East region considering Kenya is a source of organic meat from pasture-fed livestock, proximity to the target market compared to some suppliers like Australia and Brazil and in addition Kenya holds considerable shares in some markets despite uncompetitive pricing. These markets include Swine meat in UAE and Bahrain; Meat offal in UAE and Bahrain (where Kenya holds a share of 24.6%, despite supplying the product at US $ 14,111 per ton compared to the average market rate US $ 7,371 per ton.); Beef in Kuwait and Oman and Sheep and Goat meat in Kuwait.
  • On the supply-side, Kenya should fast-track the full utilization of the established disease free zones to the level of implementing the SPS Agreement whereby member countries of WTO agree to recognize disease free zones as sources of animals and animal products subject to risk assessment. By achieving the disease free zones and animal traceability Kenya is assured of quality meat through enhanced nutritional and health regimes.
  • Supply of livestock and cost of production should also be regulated through the intervention of the Ministry of Livestock Development to increase the country’s competitiveness in the region in relation to other players.
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