Beer, Key to Mexico’s Agri-food Balance SurplusBy Daniel González | Mon, 02/24/2020 - 14:12
In 2019, Mexico took a new step in its race to remain one of the most important agri-food producers not only in the Americas region, but also worldwide. The country, which has a significant agricultural industry, closed last year with a surplus of US$9.84 billion in its agri-food trade balance. This is the highest figure since Banxico began keeping records and represents a growth of 33.3 percent compared to 2018. These figures join those published in August 2019 by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which placed Mexico among the top 10 agricultural exporters in the world, behind the European Union, US, China, Canada, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Australia.
According to data published by Grupo Consultor de Mercados Agrícolas (GCMA), beer, one of Mexico’s star products, topped the list thanks to exports worth US$4.8 billion, while avocado, with a value of US$2.8 billion, came second. Beef came in third with a value of US$2.3 billion. Tomato came in fourth, the only star product of the Mexican food industry whose value fell compared to 2018 (from US$2.2 billion to US$2.1 billion). These are the star products of Mexican agriculture along with tequila, berries and chilies.
Beer’s place at the top of agri-food is not surprising in a country like Mexico that has a long brewing tradition dating back to the time of the Spanish conquest. In fact, according to data from Cerveceros de Mexico, the country is the world's leading exporter of beer, with figures that represent 28 percent of all global exports, and the fourth largest producer in the world by volume, ahead of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
The trade wars that the US has opened with different countries in the world, the exclusion of the concept of seasonality of agricultural products in the recently signed USMCA and the increased competitiveness of Mexican agriculture are some of the reasons that have led to this significant increase in Mexican agricultural exports.