Mexico’s Agrifood Balance Hits Highest Surplus in 26 YearsBy MBN Staff | Tue, 12/22/2020 - 13:09
Mexico’s agrifood trade balance reached its highest positive balance in 26 years in October 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) has reported.
The ministry, which produces monthly reports on the country’s agrifood trade balance including agriculture and livestock, said that between January and October of this year, the country had imported US$22.096 billion worth of products, while hitting its highest exportation value in 28 years atUS$32.571 billion. This leaves the country with an agrifood trade surplus of US$10.475 billion, its highest level since 1995.
SADER also announced that October’s report marked 42.5 percent year-to-year increase in the agrifood trade balance driven by a 4.2 percent increase in export value combined with a 7.5 percent reduction in imports.
Among the most valuable agrifood and agroindustrial export products between January and October were beer derived from malt with a value of US$3.776 billion, avocados at US$2.530 billion, tequila and mezcal with sales hitting US$1.967, and tomatoes at US$1.963 billion. Other notable products were peppers valued at US$1.140 billion, bread products at US$957 billion and fresh, refrigerated or frozen beef, which reached sales values of US$905 billion.
The balance of agricultural goods reached an overall surplus of US$4.836 billion, while the balance of agroindustrial goods arrived at a surplus of US$5.643 billion, and fishery goods hit a US$264 million surplus.
Not all sectors offered a positive trade balance, however. Livestock and beekeeping activities showed a negative balance of US$268 million, though the silver lining is that this is a reduction of US$293.3 million compared to the same period last year.
In a recent interview with MBN, former Deputy Minister at SADER Miguel Garcia-Winder discussed the challenges that Mexico faces in increasing its agricultural production and linking the country’s thousands of small holders with the international supply chain. He said that while Mexico “has very productive agriculture”, gaps between rural areas have “developed over the last 30 to 40 years” with the breach between advanced and small-scale agriculture being a particular problem.
In regards to Mexico’s productivity considering the number of small farms, Garcia-Winder said that it is a challenge that Mexico must solve.
“My position has always been that we need to find a way to make this reality work. Yes, there are inconveniences to small plots. However, I also recognize their importance in maintaining social stability and tranquility. The key is to work with farmer organizations, bringing all actors into the conversation and see how they can be integrated into the value chain,” he said.