Record pigmeat exports for 1997
PIGMEAT exports rose to record highs in 1997, despite the strength of sterling.
The volume of fresh and frozen product sent abroad rose 17% last year to 159,000t, according to the Meat and Livestock Commissions Pig Yearbook.
But the value of such exports fell 5% to £216m, reflecting the lower prices needed to remain competitive in the face of a strong £.
The high-quality status of British product is firing demand, says MLCs Mick Sloyan. "We even managed to send more than 4500t to Denmark – a little like sending coals to Newcastle."
With exports now accounting for one-sixth of production, farmers must strive to remain competitive, he adds. Over the past five years, pigs reared a litter have increased 0.15 to average 9.69, feed conversion rate between weaning and 88kg has come down from 2.83 to 2.62 (worth £3 an animal) and average carcass weights have risen 2kg to 70kg. *