Mexican Corn Production Seen Advancing by UN on Planting

Corn production in Mexico, the second-biggest buyer of the grain from the U.S., may climb 2.6 percent from the previous year as planting expanded, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said.

Mexico may harvest 22.4 million metric tons of corn this year, up from 21.836 million tons a year earlier, the Rome-based agency said in a country report dated yesterday on its website. Farmers have begun planting corn for the main spring-summer crop, which accounts for 70 percent of the country’s total output. The secondary autumn-winter crop, which is still being harvested, may be 4.8 million tons, 10 percent smaller than a year earlier because of frost damage in January, the FAO said.

Wheat production may be 3.75 million tons this year, 16 percent higher than in 2012 as planting rebounded and crops experienced favorable weather, the FAO said. Farmers are currently harvesting the country’s main autumn-winter wheat crop, which represents 90 percent of national production.

Mexico’s grain imports in the 2012-13 marketing year that began Oct. 1 may slide 12 percent from a year earlier to about 16 million tons, the FAO said. The country bought 9.54 million tons of corn from the U.S. in the 2011-12 season, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Mexico’s U.S. wheat purchases the same year were 3.5 million tons. It was the second-biggest buyer of both grains from the U.S., after Japan.

Corn prices in Mexico City in March were below year-earlier levels, while costs of tortillas made of corn flour were unchanged at a record 11.20 pesos (92 cents) a kilogram (2.2 pounds) achieved in February, the FAO said. Prices of black beans were 13 percent lower than a year earlier.

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