Britain has agreed to start exporting pig semen to China, in a deal announced December 4. The two countries reached the deal during British Prime Minister David Cameron's three-day trade visit to China.

Officials told news sources that the Britain-China pig semen deal is potentially worth GBP45 million annually to British pig producers. The export of pig semen to China is expected to begin in the spring of 2014.

"The news today regarding the GBP45million deal to supply China with pig semen is great news for the UK pig industry, and has certainly been welcomed here at JSR Genetics," said Dr. Grant Walling, director of science and technology at JSR Genetics, one of Britain's leading pig genetics companies. "Half of the world's pigs are in China, so it is a critical market for our business development as well as global food security which will only be met through improving their porcine genetics.

"For a while now, we have been in advanced discussions with the Chinese Government officials to finalize health certificates and enable our porcine semen and the associated genetics and services into the market over there. Earlier this year, we hosted a group of delegates from China, who came to inspect our export artificial insemination center as a potential supplier, so I'm delighted to hear that the government has brought our on-going talks to a positive conclusion."