Chinese pigs are in for a surprise — the UK and China just signed a $74 million deal to export British pig semen to Chinese farms, where the pigs will be artificially inseminated.

Apparently the British pigs are much more desirable than their Chinese counterparts. According to the Financial Times, British pigs eat less, grow faster, and mate more than Chinese pigs.

And China needs the help. Although more than half the world's pigs are estimated to live in China, the country actually became a net importer of pork in 2008.

The semen will be taken from one of four British artificial insemination centers and then flown — fresh and frozen — to China.

Britons also see a huge opportunity in pig trotters (feet), which are often thrown away in the UK but considered a fine delicacy in China. In October, a Chinese official was suspended when it became public that he had spent $115,000 over three years at a pig trotter restaurant.

[image via Shutterstock]