MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Mexican wheat and rice production estimates for 2018-19 have been revised downward as planted area for both crops is lower than previously expected, according to a May 30 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wheat production in 2018-19 is expected to drop by 14% from the previous forecast this year to 2.8 million tonnes, down from 3.27 million, the USDA said.

The agency cited low water availability in key wheat producing areas and a sluggish market as reasons for the decline in planted area.

Meanwhile, rice output for 2018-19 is expected to drop by 10% from an estimate earlier this year, falling to 268,000 tonnes from 298,000.

The USDA said Mexican corn and sorghum production for 2018-19 are expected to stay consistent with previous estimates. Corn output is pegged at 26 million tonnes, just 800,000 tonnes fewer than in 2017-18. Sorghum production is expected to reach 4.8 million tonnes, slightly higher than the 4.63 million tonnes produced in 2017-18.

“Animal feed industry sources and private traders noted that, though international sorghum prices fell recently to the point that sorghum was an attractive alternative to yellow corn, recent international trade policy events are expected to reverse this trend,” the USDA said. “Without a significant price differential favoring sorghum, the animal fed industry typically prefers to purchase yellow corn.”