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Mexico increases corn imports

Мексико увеличава вноса на царевица

The drought will force Mexico to import between 14 million and 16 million tons of yellow corn in 2024, the country's Agriculture Minister Victor Villalobos said.

He said imports were "in line with annual averages," but declined to give a figure for Mexican corn production. He said production in the southeastern part of the country would help make up for the deficit in Chihuahua caused by the drought. He said it doesn't matter if farmers feed the cattle white or yellow corn.

As of mid-January, U.S. government data showed Mexico planned to import a record 15.3 million tons of corn for the 2023-24 season, a figure it said would exceed by about 20 percent the previous record for imports at this point in the season set by two years earlier.

Mexico is self-sufficient in the production of white corn, but imports large quantities of yellow corn, mostly from the United States. Accounting for almost half of US corn sales, Mexico remains the largest buyer despite a proposal to limit imports of genetically modified corn. If strictly enforced, it could disrupt US exports.

With corn yields lower than originally expected due to dry weather, the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service in January cut its forecast for Mexico's 2023-24 production to 25.5 million tonnes, which is down from the 28.1 million tonnes produced in 2022-23.

On August 17, the United States requested the formation of a dispute panel with the Mexican government under the sanitary and phytosanitary chapter of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to address its complaint that Mexico's ban on genetically modified corn violates the free trade deal.

Mexico then countered, saying its policy was based on science and had asked the United States to work together on scientific research on the health effects of GM corn, but the US refused.

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