Mexico’s attempts to diversify its supplies of corn could threaten a crucial market for U.S. farmers who are increasingly dependent on exports to unload record stockpiles that are depressing prices.
Mexico buys nearly all its corn imports from the United States – shipments that totaled 13.603 million tonnes in the year ending Aug. 31, 2016. The sales account for about 28% of total U.S. corn exports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But now Mexico wants to lessen that dependence as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to upend trade between the countries. On Thursday, Mexico’s agriculture minister revealed plans to visit Argentina and Brazil to buy yellow corn.
A grain buyer at a corn mill in Mexico told Reuters in an email on Thursday he had already asked for price quotes from Brazilian and Argentine exporters for corn shipments to Mexico.