Mexico

GIEWS Country Brief: Mexico 21-August-2018

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Cereal production in 2018 estimated at near-average level

  • Cereal imports in 2017/18 marketing year slightly higher year-on-year due to sustained demand for yellow maize

  • Prices of white maize above year-earlier levels, while good harvest pushed down prices of black beans

Cereal production for 2018 estimated at near-average level

Harvesting of the 2018 autumn/winter season maize crop is nearing completion. Although the area sown contracted slightly, the average yields are reported to be higher than in the previous year and thus the output of this crop is estimated to change little from the previous year’s same season. Planting of the main spring/summer season maize crop started in May under generally favourable weather conditions. The official planting intention survey suggests a lower planting area for the main season. Given the outcome of the autumn/winter crop already gathered and the current outlook for the main season, the aggregate maize output in 2018 is forecast at 27 million tonnes, 3 percent down from the previous year but 7 percent above the average of the last five years.

Production of the main autumn/winter season wheat crop, harvesting of which is nearing conclusion, is expected to decrease due to the reduction of the planted area by about 22 percent. The decrease is largely due to dry weather conditions in the major wheat-producing Sonora and Baja California states during the planting period, which encouraged producers to plant other crops. Therefore, the 2018 wheat production is estimated at 2.9 million tonnes, 20 percent below the last five-year average.

Harvesting of the 2018 autumn/winter season sorghum is well advanced and a reduction in the area sown is expected as sorghum prices were low at planting time. In addition, yields have been slightly affected by dryness during the crop development stage and excessive rainfall during the harvesting period in the main producing Tamaulipas Region. As a result, the 2018 sorghum production is estimated at 5.2 million tonnes, 12 percent lower than the last five-year average.

Aggregate cereal output in 2018 is estimated at a near-average level of 36.7 million tonnes.

Cereal imports in 2017/18 marketing year slightly higher year-on-year due to sustained demand for yellow maize

Cereal import requirements in the 2017/18 marketing year (October/September) are anticipated at 22 million tonnes, slightly higher than last year’s level and about 12.5 percent above the five-year average. The increase mainly reflects the higher demand for yellow maize imports by the feed industry coupled with this year’s expected year-on-year decline in output.

Prices of white maize above year-earlier levels, while good harvest pushed down prices of black beans

Prices of white maize have been increasing from the beginning of 2018. In July 2018, prices started to decline following the improved supply from the ongoing harvest. However, prices were still 10 percent higher than their levels a year earlier, sustained by concerns over a year-on-year reduced output. By contrast, July prices of black beans were lower than their levels last year, reflecting the increased 2018 output compared to the 2017 autumn/winter season.

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