Overall pork exports declined 3% in volume to 395,220 tons and 5% in value during the first six months of the year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture export data.

Leading the decline was a 4% drop in exports of pork muscle cuts to 299,815 tons and 5% lower value at $688 million, reports the U.S. Meat Export Federation (MEF).

Sales to Japan during January-June 2002 rose by 2% to 154,427 tons, with Canadian pork exports up 4% to 37,898 tons and sales to South Korea up 70% to 9,182 tons.

Russian sales plummeted 60% to 7,930 tons. This was due to an influx of cheaper Brazilian product, which reportedly makes up 53% of Russian imports.

In contrast, U.S. pork variety meat sales increased 1% through June to 95,402 tons. The leading market, Mexico, bought 55,710 tons, an increase of 28%. But sales to Russia were also hurt by competition from Brazil and fell 82% to 977 tons.