WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Wheat production in Mexico for the 2017-18 marketing year has been lowered to 3.55 million tonnes from 3.65 million tonnes, reflecting lower-than-expected planted and harvested areas, according to a Sept. 14 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Private sources stated that despite the fact that weather conditions were favorable during the 2016-17 fall/winter crop cycle, growers in the state of Baja California planted less area than initially anticipated, triggering a reduction of approximately 100,000 tonnes in comparison to the original production estimate,” the USDA said. “Unattractive wheat prices were apparently the main reason for this reduction, potentially incentivizing farmers to plant less wheat area and to shift to alternative crops such as cotton.”

The forecast for wheat imports and exports was unchanged, at 5.2 million tonnes and 1.4 million tonnes, respectively, according to the USDA. Total consumption also was unchanged at 7.6 million tonnes.

Meanwhile, the corn harvested area estimate for Mexico was revised upward from USDA/official estimates to 7.25 million hectares from 7.2 million. Production, though, was unchanged at 26 million tonnes.

“SAGARPA (Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food) has reported that both the pace of planting and crop development have been normal in the 2017 spring/summer crop cycle,” the USDA noted in the report. “Reportedly, weather conditions were fairly favorable in June and July, with normal soil moisture and rainfall and without serious damaged from tropical storm Franklin in the second week of August. Similarly, the total production estimate and area harvested estimates for MY 2016-17 have been adjusted slightly upward and downward, respectively, based on final SAGARPA official data.”

Mexico’s total corn imports estimate for 2017-18 was left unchanged at 15.5 million tonnes, as was its total corn exports estimate at 700,000 tonnes, the USDA said.