Total U.S. meat production in 2011 will increase slightly over 2010 as pork and poultry production more than offset declines in beef, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In its World Supply and Demand Estimates report, USDA said beef production will continue to drop in 2011 as cattle supplies remain tight.

Pork production, however, is expected to rise as improved returns encourage sow farrowings and heavier carcass weights.

Both broiler and turkey production for 2011 are expected to increase in response to increased profits.

U.S. beef exports are forecast to continue declining despite an improved world economy in 2011. Pork and poultry exports are expected to advance in the improved global economic climate as U.S. production climbs. Both beef and pork imports are anticipated higher in 2011 due to the economic recovery.

While beef prices are expected to rise in 2011, USDA forecasts lower hog prices of $53 to $57 for 51 to 52% lean carcasses. Live hog prices for the remainder of 2010 have been raised from April’s forecast of $50 to $53 to a range of $55 to $57, based on improved demand and tight supplies.

To read the report, go to http://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/latest.pdf.