Record pigmeat exports for 1997

15 May 1998

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. &#42

Tim Relf

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