Mexico will have higher corn imports in 2020

 

Mexico’s corn imports are expected to reach 18 million tons this year as a result of the 4.5 percent year-on-year drop in national corn production in 2019, the Agricultural Market Consulting Group (GCMA) has reported.

The federal government has projected that nationwide production will be around 26.4 million tons in 2020, a reduction from the 27.6 million tons that were produced in 2019, according to GCMA data reported by El Economista.

Almost 90 percent of the country’s production is edible white corn, an extremely popular variety that is consumed daily as part of most Mexican diets. The country is self-sufficient in its production of white corn. The rest of the production is made up of yellow corn which is also popular to eat and has uses in industry. However, Mexico has a large production deficit for yellow corn, producing barely one fifth of the amount it consumes.

For the National Agricultural Council (CNA) bad weather is one part of the problem. The other is the change in the government’s policy following President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s decision to cut several support schemes for producers. To make matters worse, the support programs that have been implemented by the administration, such as price guarantees, have not yet had the desired effect.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sader), from 2016 to 2019 grain production remained above 27 million tons, with a peak in 2016 when 28.3 million tons were produced.

GCMA expects 550,000 tons to be exported this year, signaling the lowest figure since 2014 and 31.3 percent lower than the 800,000 tons exported in 2019.

Besides climate change, droughts and the reduction of crop areas, the Sader’s budgets reduction has the deepest implications, say analysts. The MX$47.5 billion budget approved for this year is 27 percent less than 2019.