MEXICO – Mexico, a key player in the global corn market, is gearing up for a significant uptick in corn production for the 2024-25 season. 

Following a harsh drought spell, producers in the country are eyeing a resurgence, with the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture projecting a harvest of 25 million tonnes, marking a 7% increase from the previous season’s output.

The FAS, in its latest Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report released on March 19, highlighted the factors contributing to this optimistic outlook. 

It anticipates that favorable weather conditions, with an expected return to average rainfall, will motivate farmers to expand their planted areas. This shift is crucial, especially considering that a significant portion of Mexico’s corn production relies on rainfed agriculture.

The forecasted harvested area for the upcoming season is estimated to reach 6.4 million hectares, reflecting a 5% year-on-year increase. Despite this positive momentum, planting levels are anticipated to remain below the 10-year average, as the country gradually recuperates from the adverse effects of the drought.

Corn imports are also set to rise, projected at 22 million tonnes for 2024-25, a 5% increase compared to the previous year. This surge in imports is driven by heightened demand from various sectors, including starch and animal feed production. 

Notably, Mexico’s preference for non-genetically modified (GM) white corn is reshaping trade dynamics, further boosting domestic production.

The reliance on corn imports, particularly yellow corn, underscores Mexico’s burgeoning demand from the livestock and starch industries. 

These sectors are expected to consume over 45% of the total corn production in 2023-24, with the United States emerging as the primary supplier due to geographical proximity and robust trade relations.

Mexico’s prominence in animal feed production is also underscored, with the country ranking as the world’s fifth-largest producer. In 2023, Mexico churned out over 43 million tonnes of feed, with corn constituting a significant portion of the feedstock.

Despite inflationary pressures and surging tortilla prices, human consumption of corn is expected to remain stable, with total consumption projected at 46.6 million tonnes for the upcoming season.

In addition to corn, Mexico’s wheat and sorghum sectors are also witnessing positive growth trajectories. Wheat production for 2024-25 is forecasted to increase by 10% compared to the previous year, while sorghum production is projected to rise by 8%.

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