MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — Mexico’s 2020 grain production is expected to be mixed with corn and rice set to increase and wheat and sorghum forecast to remain level, according to a March 12 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The jump in corn and rice production is attributed to a higher planted area in 2020-21. Mexico’s corn production is forecast to hit 27.1 million tonnes while rice is forecast at 281,000 tonnes.

Mexico will continue to import basic grains, and an increase is expected to meet rising demand for feed, the USDA said.

The country’s corn consumption for the 2020-21 market year is forecast at 45.5 million tonnes, an increase of 2.4%. While feed demand helps drive Mexico’s corn consumption, Mexico still remains the world’s leading consumer of corn for human consumption.

According to a report by the International Maize and Wheat Center (CIMMYT), corn represents 30% of the protein and 40% of the energy in the diet of Mexicans.

Despite its heavy production of corn, Mexico still consumes the grain at a higher rate than it produces it, according to the USDA.

Mexico’s total trade imports are forecast to increase 5.5% in market year 2020-21, “driven by bullish demand for feed consumption and the need to rebuild stocks,” the USDA said.