Mexico Becomes Major Food Supplier in North AmericaBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 09/01/2022 - 09:59
Since the Mexico-United States-Canada Agreement (USMCA) entered into force, Mexico has become an increasingly important player in providing food for the region. In addition, the governments of Honduras and Mexico reached a new agreement to continue collaborating in the agricultural sector. Moreover, major international rice producers agree to raise prices as climate change and inflation put pressure on producers.
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During a forum organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), Minister of Economy Tatiana Clouthier stressed that Mexico has become a key food supplier for the US and Canada.
She added that in the first years of the USMCA, Mexican exports to North America grew by 24 percent compared to the two years prior to the treaty. "This should be seen as an opportunity to expand export possibilities and production capacity," Clouthier said.
The Mexican Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Víctor Villalobos Arámbula, and the Honduran Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Laura Elena Suazo Torres, reached a new agreement to increase bilateral collaboration and cooperation in the agricultural sector, as well as provide technical and scientific assistance.
In 2021, the trade balance regarding agriculture and fisheries between both countries reached a US$94 million surplus. Mexican exports to Honduras had a value of US$197 million dollars, while imports had a value of US$104 million. Villalobos announced that this year, Mexican authorities expect to have a similar balance despite the delay in harvests due to the rain.
Due to major floods and extreme droughts around the world as well as rising inflationary pressures, rice-producing countries such as India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam and China are facing serious supply problems. Faced with this problem, the world's leading rice exporters, Thailand and Vietnam, agreed to increase international rice prices.
Alongkorn Phonbutr, Adviser to the Thai Ministry of Agriculture, said that the current rice prices are low and unfair since a ton of rice is around US$400, "A price that is not logical with the increase in the cost of production, the price of fertilizer and fuel due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the Russian-Ukrainian war," Phonbutr said.
Currently, rice production in Asia accounts for 90 percent of the world’s production. Mexico is one of the countries that consumes the most with 1.18 million tons of rice per year. However, it produces less than 12 percent of total global demand.