Pork exports last year reached near record levels and accounted for 25% of UK production.
The only year when total exports were higher was back in 1998 and then by a couple of percent.
BPEX International Manager Peter Hardwick said: “After 1998 exports fell quite dramatically and then, in 2000, we had an outbreak of Classical Swine Fever, followed the next year by Foot and Mouth Disease.
“Those two meant we lost a lot of markets, which we are still regaining, but seeing the export figures so high for last year is very good news. The amount of pig meat we are exporting was worth in the region of £275 million.
“The main driver for the increase has been the opening of Chinese and Far Eastern markets which are now becoming very important to us.
“We have also gained access to the Australian market which will enable us to export high quality, high value pork.
There is a good balance in our exports between EU and non-EU as Germany remains a key market though at slightly lower volumes due to lower sow slaughterings.”
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