MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — A mixed grain production outlook for marketing year 2022-23 means Mexico will continue to be a major importer of basic grains, according to a recent Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Corn, wheat and sorghum production is forecast marginally lower, and rice production slightly higher, the USDA said. The forecast for corn (27.6 million tonnes), wheat (3.27 million tonnes) and sorghum (4.85 million tonnes) is down due to rising input costs, reduced government support and expected challenging weather caused by La Niña, while the rice forecast is up slightly to 274,000 metric tonnes based on the renewed functioning of irrigation infrastructure in certain growing regions.

Overall feed grain demand is expected to continue growing steadily at approximately 1.5% in 2022-23. Corn continues to be the preferred feed grain in Mexico based on its nutritional attributes. Meanwhile, demand for grain for human consumption is forecast to grow more slowly, slightly below the population growth rate of about 1%. 

With grain imports forecast to show modest growth in 2022-23 to meet growing demand for livestock feed, the United States is expected to remain Mexico’s principal supplier due to logistical advantages and existing business relationships.

Mexico’s grain production and imports are subject to its biotechnology regulatory policy, which has become increasingly uncertain under the current administration. The planting of genetically engineered corn is restricted by a collective lawsuit, and a Jan. 1, 2021, presidential decree entered into force calling for a phase-out of biotech corn for human consumption by January 2024.