LONDON, United Kingdom - British farmers will begin exporting pig semen to breeders in China next year, officials said on Wednesday, as they try to cash in on the Asian superpower's growing consumption of meat.
The deal, involving fresh or frozen sperm from four artificial insemination centres in England and Northern Ireland, was agreed during Prime Minister David Cameron's three-day trade visit to China.
Cameron's office said the deal could be worth £45 million (US$74 million, 55 million euros), although the farming ministry said this figure also included live pig exports.
Environment Minister Owen Paterson also used the trip to lay the groundwork for a deal to export trotters from pig farmers, a major sector of British agriculture.
"Pig trotters at home will often go to waste, but in China they are a real delicacy," Paterson said in a statement.
"Opening an export market for trotters worth £7.5 million will be a further boost for our farming industry on top of the deals we have made on pig semen and cuts of pork last year."
Cameron travelled to China accompanied by more than 100 businesspeople including the heads of Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls Royce and Royal Dutch Shell as he seeks to reset relations strained by his meeting with the Dalai Lama last year.