Halal products represent one of the fastest growing segments of U.S. beef exports. Halal certification, which indicates that products have been processed and prepared according to Islamic guidelines, is required for export to most markets in the Middle East, as well as to Indonesia and Malaysia. But the popularity of halal beef is also growing is some areas in which halal certification is not required for entry, but is in high demand due to customer preference.
Sabrina Yin, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) director for the ASEAN region of Southeast Asia, oversees Indonesia and Malaysia for USMEF, where halal certification is strictly required. But in the attached audio report, she discusses the demand for halal beef in markets where it is not required for entry – such as Singapore, which has a growing Muslim population and attracts many tourists from the Middle East, and in southern Thailand near the border with Malaysia. Even in the Philippines, where the national population is heavily Catholic, halal beef is in high demand in the southwestern portion of the country.
While mainland China is currently closed to U.S. beef, halal beef products are also popular there. Joel Haggard, who is based in Hong Kong as the USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific region, says that even though halal certification is not required in China, it is increasingly common among beef products.