Minister hails new dawn as Portugal starts exporting pork to China

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Portugal's Agriculture Minister Luis Capoulas Santos celebrated a new dawn on Wednesday as Portugal waved off its first pork exports to China.

"It is an extremely important step for the sector given that we're talking about exports estimated at 100 million euros per year to begin with," said Capoulas Santos at a ceremony marking the occasion at the Maporal abattoir in Reguengos de Monsaraz, 150 km southeast of Lisbon.

The minister was there to witness the departure of the first 10 containers of Portuguese pork bound for China. This amounted to 270 tonnes of meat worth 1 million euros.

The containers left Portugal via the port of Sines, some 160 km south of Lisbon and are ultimately destined for Hunan province in China.

"Today is a very important day for Portugal and the omens are good," Capoulas Santos added. "Chinese New Year is coming up and it will be the Year of the Pig no less."

"2019 is the Year of the Pig and this year pork exports from Portugal will reach the Chinese market. It is a good start and marks the important result of cooperation between the two countries," said Chinese Ambassador to Portugal Cai Run. (1 euro = 1.15 U.S.dollars) 

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