Trade and production: Singapore

Singapore is an island state in South East Asia, off the southern tip of the Malay peninsula. It had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$397bn in 2021 (source: World Bank) and a GDP per capita of US$72,794.

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Production, consumption and trade


Singapore is a relatively wealthy country that imports over 90% of its food. In 2021, agriculture was responsible for less than 0.05% of GDP, with the main component of GDP being the services sector. About 1% of Singapore's land area is used for agriculture, mainly producing eggs, seafood and vegetables for local consumption (source: Singapore Gov stats). There is no domestic red meat production, although Singapore is at the forefront of developing lab-grown meats, being the first country to approve the commercial sale of cultivated meat.

Singapore is an attractive market for UK red meat, with premium cuts for foodservice and high-end retailers representing the best opportunity. Singapore has a large, affluent expat population (just under 30% in 2020).

Singapore is also an important regional dairy importer. Again, the relatively affluent consumers inclined to Western culture, along with the tourism sector, would be targets for premium British products such as cheese.

The UK has tariff-free import access to Singapore’s beef, pork, sheep meat and dairy markets. While there is considerable competition for exports to Singapore, there is certainly a niche the UK can carve.


Beef is popular, competing for market share with fish, poultry meat and pork.

Singapore imported an average of 36.5 Kt of beef per year between 2019 and 2021, worth over £186m. Of this, about 5 t, worth £100K, came from the UK. The key suppliers are Australia, USA and Japan.


Pork is the most widely consumed red meat in the country and the third most popular protein behind fish and poultry meat.

Singapore imported an average of 84.1 Kt of pork per year between 2019 and 2021, worth almost £219m. The key suppliers to Singapore are Brazil, Australia and Germany. Around 1.1 Kt came from UK producers, worth just over £1.5m.

Sheep meat

Sheep meat is less widely consumed than pork and beef but is still popular.

Singapore imported an average of 6.6 Kt of lamb a year between 2019 and 2021, worth £31.9m. Of this, 34 t came from UK suppliers, worth £166K per year. The main suppliers to Singapore are Australia and New Zealand.


Singapore imported an average of 320 Kt of dairy products (including milk, cheese, butter and milk powder) between 2019 and 2021, worth over £663m a year. Of this, the UK supplied 4.9 Kt worth £13m. The key suppliers are New Zealand and Australia.