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Mexico's Maize Crop Forecast to Remain Relatively Unchanged

Mexico's Maize Crop Forecast to Remain Relatively Unchanged

02 June 2014

MEXICO - Harvesting of the 2014 autumn-winter is well underway. Initial estimates point to a sharp decline in production due to a 15 percent reduction in plantings, in response to low white maize prices.

Preliminary estimates point to a production of 4.2 million tonnes, down 13 per cent from the same season last year.

Planting of the 2014 main season “spring-summer” maize crop is well underway reflecting favourable weather conditions. Despite the record low price of white maize for human consumption, initial official forecasts point to an area planted of 6.6 million hectares, virtually unchanged from last year.

This mainly reflects the substitution of area planted to white maize by yellow maize - used in the feed industry - under the Government’s promotion programme, which provides price subsidies of MXN 350/tonne for yellow maize. Assuming favourable weather for the remainder of the season and yields approaching historical levels, production of the main season maize crop is initially forecast at 18.2 million tonnes or three per cent up from last year.

Aggregate 2014 maize production (autumn-winter and spring-summer season) is initially forecast at 22.4 million tonnes unchanged from last year and above the five-year average.

Forecast for the 2014 wheat crop point to an increase from last year

Harvest of the 2014 wheat crop is underway. Official forecasts point to an increase in production from last year of two per cent to almost 3.7 million tonnes, mainly driven by higher plantings. However, at this level wheat production remains slightly below the country’s five-year average for a second consecutive year.

Cereal imports for the 2013/14 marketing year revised downward, but still remain high

Official forecasts for cereal imports in the 2013/14 marketing year (October/September) have been revised downward to reflect higher production of maize than earlier anticipated. However, cereal imports are expected to increase by 24 per cent from the previous year’s level, driven by strong demand from the feed industry and relatively low international prices.

Maize prices unchanged in May, those of beans seasonally increased, but both at relatively low levels
Prices were unchanged for the fourth consecutive month in May and at three-year lows. Prices mainly reflect the ample supplies in the market due to record harvests in the last three years.

In May, prices for black beans, the most produced and consumed variety, increased seasonally but remained close to their year-earlier levels. Similar to white maize, production of black beans has also followed an increasing trend in the last few years.

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