Led by a projected 11% decline in poultry exports due to prolonged Russian trade disruptions, total meat exports for 2002 will decline year-to-year for the first time since 1985, according to USDA.

U.S. pork exports are targeted at 674,000 tons, a 5% decline from the record level set the previous year.

John Cravens, director of foreign market development and world trade for the National Pork Board, says there are some major consumer barriers to U.S. pork exports in the Far East markets.

A recent Pork Board survey shows that Japanese consumers frequently eat pork. But 55% say they have never eaten imported pork and 56% say they won't buy it.

Similarly, in South Korea, pork is eaten at least once a week at home. But a whopping 93% say they wouldn't buy imported pork because of safety concerns.