GIEWS Country Brief: Mexico 02-August-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Cereal production in 2019 estimated at near-average level

  • Cereal imports in 2018/19 marketing year expected well above-average

  • Prices of white maize and beans stable

Cereal production for 2019 forecast at near-average level

Harvesting of the 2019 minor (winter) season maize crop is well advanced and yields of the harvested crops are reported to be above average. Combined with increased plantings, the output is expected at an above-average level. At the same time, planting of the main (summer) season maize crop, mostly rainfed, is ongoing. Although the official planting intention survey points to a near-average area, the planting progress as of end-June is slightly slower than the previous years, mainly reflecting belowaverage precipitation in the key producing areas. Given the outcome of the autumn/winter crop already gathered and the current outlook for the main season, the 2019 aggregate maize output is forecast at 27 million tonnes, about 5 percent above the average of the last five years.

Harvesting of the main (winter) season wheat crop is nearing conclusion and production is estimated at a below-average level.
This is mainly due to lower-than-average plantings, despite a rebound from last year’s low level. Plantings of the main season, which accounts for 95 percent of the annual production, have been declining since 2016, as farmers shifted to more remunerative maize crops. According to the planting intention survey, a modest increase in plantings of the minor (summer) season wheat crop, to be harvested in November, is expected.
Therefore, the 2019 aggregate wheat production is forecast at 3.2 million tonnes, about 9 percent below the last five-year average.

Harvesting of the 2019 main (winter) season sorghum is almost concluded. Area planted of the main season is officially estimated at a below-average level and yields of the harvested crops are a record low due to dryness during the crop development stage and excessive rainfall during the harvesting period in the main producing Tamaulipas Region. Planting operations of the minor (summer) season crop are ongoing. With an expected increase in plantings in the minor season crop, which accounts for about 40 percent of the annual production, the 2019 aggregate sorghum production is anticipated at 5.1 million tonnes, about 10 percent lower than the last five-year average.

Aggregate cereal output in 2019 is anticipated at 36.9 million tonnes, near the average of the last five years.

Cereal imports in 2018/19 marketing year expected well above-average

Cereal import requirements in the 2018/19 marketing year (October/September) are expected at 23.4 million tonnes, about 20 percent above the five-year average. The increase mainly reflects the higher demand of yellow maize by the feed industry and of wheat for food use.

Prices of white maize and beans stable

Prices of white maize remained virtually unchanged in the second quarter of 2019 and near their year-earlier levels, as improved market supplies from the ongoing harvest offset the upward pressure from the reduced 2018 output. Prices of black beans were also relatively stable during the same period, as the recently completed harvests of the minor season are supplying the market. By contrast, prices of rice have been increasing since the beginning of 2019 and were higher than their values a year earlier, despite the ongoing minor season harvest and similar a level of outputs compared to those of last year.