VALUABLE LIVE pig exports from the UK to China can now resume after a five year standstill.

A new deal has been agreed opening up the Chinese market to UK pig breeding companies, after the 2000–2001 outbreaks of swine fever and foot and mouth shut them out of the world’s most valuable pigmeat market.

The British Pig Executive have indicated that in the first year alone UK pig breeders could do £1m worth of live breeding pig export business.

China is also considering approaches from DEFRA to settle their concerns on public health issues, which should also open up a major market for UK meat exporters.

BPEX believe this will be a valuable initial step towards rebuilding the £50m of pigmeat exports that were lost to disease.

Live exports are likely to be of Large White and Landrace bloodlines.

And with single breeding pigs worth up to £5,000 valuable animals will be flown and not shipped over.

As the Chinese economy continues to expand, traders believe that despite strong competition from the US, Canada and Brazil, the Chinese market remains a major target for UK breeding pig and pigmeat exporters.

But high levels of vigilance will need to be maintained in the UK to prevent any further CSF or FMD outbreaks which could quickly see the door slam again.