World Grain - July 2020 - 18

COUNTRY FOCUS

FOCUS ON

MEXICO

Although a major corn producer, it is
still highly dependent on imported grain
by Chris Lyddon

Mexico is unusual in the importance of corn in its national diet, alWKRXJKFRQVXPSWLRQKDVIDOOHQR൵ZKLOHWKHDPRXQWRIZKHDWHDWHQ
has been held back by anti-obesity campaigns. The country is a major customer for grain exported from its northern neighbor, the UnitHG6WDWHV,WWKHUHIRUHLVDELJLPSRUWHURIJHQHWLFDOO\PRGL¿HGJUDLQV
and oilseeds, despite producing none itself. Government policy on
the farm sector is shifting to focus on supporting smaller producers.
In its Grain Market Report for May, the International Grains
Council (IGC) forecasts Mexico's total grains production in 2020-21
DWPLOOLRQWRQQHVFRPSDUHGZLWKLWVIRUHFDVWDPRQWKHDUOLHU
of 35.6 million. The total crop in 2019-20 is estimated at 33.8 million tonnes.
7KH,*&¶VIRUHFDVWIRU0H[LFR¶VWRWDOZKHDWSURGXFWLRQLVPLOOLRQWRQQHVLQXQFKDQJHGIURPLWV¿JXUHRIDPRQWKHDUOLHU
and up from 3.3 million the year before.
0H[LFR¶VFRUQFURSLVQRZIRUHFDVWDWPLOOLRQWRQQHV
FRPSDUHGZLWKWKHSUHYLRXVPRQWK¶VSUHGLFWLRQRIPLOOLRQDQG
2019-20's crop of 25 million.
The IGC's estimate for the country's sorghum production is unFKDQJHGIURPODVWPRQWKDWPLOOLRQWRQQHVZLWK
2019-20 at 4.3 million.
Mexico's total imports of grain in 2020DUHSXWDWPLOOLRQWRQQHVGRZQ
IURPWKHHDUOLHUHVWLPDWHRIPLOlion. The country imported 23.9
million tonnes in 2019-20. The
LPSRUWV ZLOO LQFOXGH  PLOOLRQ WRQQHV RI ZKHDW DQ XQchanged forecast, against 5.2
million the year before. Corn
imports are forecast at 18.8
million tonnes, a forecast reYLVHGGRZQIURPWKHSUHYLRXV
PRQWK¶VPLOOLRQEXWZHOO
DERYH WKH  PLOOLRQ WRQQHV
imported in 2019-20.
The IGC also forecasts imports
of some 600,000 tonnes of sorghum,
GRZQIURPWRQQHVSUHYLRXVO\
18

KEY FACTS
Capital: Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico)
Population: 128,549,565 (July 2020 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 82.7%, Pentecostal
1.6%, Jehovah's Witness 1.4%, other Evangelical
Churches 5%, other 1.9%, none 4.7%, unspecified
2.7% (2010 est.).
Location: North America, bordering the Caribbean
Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the
United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean,
between Guatemala and the United States.
Government: Federal presidential republic. Chief
of state and head of government: President Andres
Manual Lopez Obrador (since Dec. 1, 2018).
Economy: Mexico's $2.4 trillion economy has become increasingly oriented toward manufacturing
since the North American Free Trade Agreement entered into force in 1994. Per capita income is onethird that of the United States; income distribution remains highly unequal. Mexico has become the United
States' second-largest export market and third-largest
source of imports. In 2017, two-way trade in goods
and services exceeded $623 billion. Mexico has free
trade agreements with 46 countries, putting more
than 90% of its trade under free trade agreements.
In 2012, Mexico formed the Pacific Alliance with
Peru, Colombia and Chile. Mexico's current government has emphasized economic reforms, passing and
implementing sweeping energy, financial, fiscal and
telecommunications reform legislation, among others, with the long-term aim to improve competitiveness and economic growth across the Mexican economy. Since 2015, Mexico has held public auctions of
oil and gas exploration and development rights and
for long-term electric power generation contracts.
Mexico also has issued permits for private sector import, distribution and retail sales of refined petroleum
products in an effort to attract private investment into
the energy sector and boost production. Since 2013,
Mexico's economic growth has averaged 2% annually, falling short of private-sector expectations that former President Peña Nieto's sweeping reforms would
bolster economic prospects. Growth is predicted to
remain below potential given falling oil production,
weak oil prices, high inequality, weak rule of law and
corruption. Mexico's economy remains vulnerable to
uncertainty surrounding the future of NAFTA - and
to potential shifts in domestic policies following the
inauguration of a new a president in December 2018.
GDP per capita: $19,900 (2017 est.); inflation: 6%
(2017 est.); unemployment: 3.4% (2017 est.).
Currency: Mexican pesos (MXN): 22.43 pesos equal
1 US dollar (June 22, 2020).
Exports: $409.8 billion (2017 est.): manufactured
goods, electronics, vehicles and auto parts, oil and oil
products, silver, plastics, fruits, vegetables, coffee, cotton; Mexico is the world's leading producer of silver.
Imports: $420.8 billion (2017 est.): metalworking
machines, steel mill products, agricultural machinery,
electrical equipment, automobile parts for assembly
and repair, aircraft, aircraft parts, plastics, natural gas
and oil products.
Agriculture: 3.6% (2017 est.) of GDP and 13.4%
of the labor force.
Internet: Code: .mx; 73,334,032 users.
Source: CIA World Factbook

July 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com


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World Grain - July 2020

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