Mexico Announces Temporary 50% Tax On White Corn Exports
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Mexico Announces Temporary 50% Tax On White Corn Exports

Photo by:   Cristina Anne Costello - Unsplash
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Eliza Galeana By Eliza Galeana | Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 18:14

The Mexican government announced a temporary 50% tax on white corn exports to guarantee supply and price stability. President López Obrador signed a decree confirming the news. The decree was published in Mexico's Official Gazette on Jan. 16, 2023, and will remain in force until June 30, 2023. 

“To guarantee a sufficient supply of corn, it is necessary to keep domestic production in our country and ensure market conditions that help stabilize its price,” the document reads. The decree states that Mexico’s supply and production of white corn are important factors in determining its price and, therefore, of other products that are based on it. White corn production in Mexico is intended for human consumption, mainly to manufacture tortillas, an essential component of the basic food basket.

According to data provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), domestic production reached 23 million tons of white corn in 2022. During 2022, Mexico exported 238,000 tons and imported 614,000 tons between January and October. 

The Food and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP) reported that throughout October 2022, white corn imports grew from 25,000 tons in September to 41,000 tons. On the other hand, exports decreased from 15,000 tons to approximately 2,000 during the same period. Moreover, SIAP pointed out that South Africa displaced the US as Mexico’s main white corn supplier in that month, as it contributed 99.3 percent of purchases, equivalent to 40,000 tons.

Mexico imports about 17 million tons of corn from the US every year, and about 18% to 20% of imports are white corn. Currently, both countries are in talks regarding President López Obrador’s ban on GM corn. Although experts claim that Mexico cannot be forced to accept GM corn exports from the US, US authorities are unwilling to negotiate and argue that Mexico needs to follow the alignments of the previously signed agreements.

Photo by:   Cristina Anne Costello - Unsplash

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