Mexico imported more than 583,000 MT of Brazilian corn last year, a nearly 10-fold increase from its purchases from the country in 2016, according to data from Mexico’s Agrifood and Fishery Information Services. All of these buys came in the last four months of the year.
These sales represent just a small portion of Mexico’s needs. And it’s worth noting that U.S. shipments to Mexico also climbed 6.6% in 2017 to 14.7 MMT, according to USDA data. But the purchases nevertheless reflect Mexico’s efforts to diversify its suppliers in the event efforts to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement fail. While it certainly could not shut off imports of the grain from the U.S., it could scale back its purchases.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue speaking at its Ag Outlook Forum today said he is not worried about Brazilian corn sales to Mexico because “We have a tremendous logistical advantage to sell to Mexico, with railways going directly from the corn area to Mexico.”