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Mexico 2013 Maize Production Firm at Last Year’s Strong Levels

18 September 2013

MEXICO - Harvesting of the 2013 autumn-winter maize crop was completed in August and the output is estimated at about 4.8 million tonnes, about 13 per cent below the good crop of the same season in 2012 due to the reduced levels of water reservoirs, especially in the main producing state of Sinaloa.

Sowing of the 2013 main spring-summer season maize crop, which represents 70 percent of the annual production, has just been completed under generally favourable weather conditions, where good levels of humidity in the soil benefited the planting season, reports the FAO.

Early official forecasts point to an output of 17.6 million tonnes, 6 per cent up from the 2012 same season. This mainly reflects an increase in the area planted and Government support programmes providing input subsidies and credit facilities. In May, the Government approved a five-year National Development Plan, which includes as one of its primary objectives the promotion of the agricultural sector.

In aggregate, the 2013 maize production (autumn-winter and spring-summer seasons) is expected at 22.4 million tonnes, slightly above the 2012 crop and the average of the past five years.
Harvesting of the 2013 irrigated autumn-winter wheat crop, which accounts for 90 percent of annual production, was completed in July. The output was estimated at 3.7 million tonnes, 13 percent higher than in 2012, reflecting an increase in plantings from last year’s reduced levels in the main producing area of Sonora.

Planting of the 2013 minor rice crop was completed. Production forecast to fall some four percent from last year to 178,000 tonnes as a result of a reduction in total planted area.

Cereal imports estimated to decline in 2012/13 marketing year

Imports of cereals in the 2012/13 marketing year (October/September) are expected to decline by about 19 percent from the 2011/12 levels to some 14 million tonnes, mainly reflecting the recovery in the 2012 maize production.

Maize and bean prices remain at low levels

In the capital Mexico City, prices of staple beans have declined in the past six months and in August were 13 per cent lower than their levels a year earlier, reflecting ample supplies from last year’s good production. Reflecting the good 2012 main season harvest, prices of white maize remained fairly stable and at low levels in August at MXN 5.40 (USD 0.40), some 8 per cent below their levels a year earlier. Prices of tortilla, a traditional component of the local diet made out of maize flour, stayed virtually unchanged at a relatively high level of MXN 11.18 (USD 0.84).

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