BRITISH farmers and food producers are set to benefit from a valuable new market as Taiwan prepares to welcome British pork imports for the first time.

UK pork exports were worth £290 million to our economy last year, reaching over 80 export markets. This new agreement is expected to be worth more than £50m over the next five years.

The deal also means UK exporters can further tap in to the overseas demand for parts of the pig carcass that are not commonly purchased in the UK, such as offal. This will allow UK farmers and pork processors to generate income from the whole carcass.

The deal has been secured by the UK Government, working with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP). Exporters can take advantage of the markets as soon as the administrative listing process is completed and export certification is made available.

AHDB international market development director Dr Phil Hadley said: "We estimate the value to the UK to be in excess of £50m based on current UK export capacity, but if this were to rise to match the strong demand for pork imports in Taiwan, where last year alone imports rose by 26 per cent to $178.3m, the opportunity could be worth more than £100m over the next five years.

"A team of the Government's leading trade experts continue to provide guidance to UK businesses as they enter into overseas markets for the first time, or consider expanding their current global customer base ."

Market round-up

C&D Auction Marts Ltd had a poor show of prime cattle in Dumfries on Wednesday when three heifers sold to 190p per kg and averaged 176p, while a couple of bullocks peaked at 214p and levelled at 202p.

In the rough ring 20 beef cows sold to 144p and averaged 115.5p, while 40 dairy cows peaked at 110p and levelled at 90.5p.

The firm also sold 536 prime lambs to a top of £100 per head and 217p per kg to average 199.5p (+24.2p on the week).

A larger show of 553 cast sheep saw heavy ewes sell to £148.50 for Texels and average £74.42, while light/export type ewes peaked at £71.50 for Cheviots and levelled at £46.24.

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 1,219 prime lambs in Newton Stewart on Wednesday to a top of £102 and 205p to average 189.6p (+16.6p).

There were also 182 heavy cast ewes forward that sold to £111 for Texel crosses and averaged £79.60, while 167 light ewes peaked at £93 for Cheviots and levelled at £49.80.