Mexico's agri-food exports set a record in the first quarter of the yearPublished on 24 June 2021
The value of shipments of agricultural, fishery and processed products for direct human consumption exceeded US$11 billion.
The Covid-19 pandemic affected Mexico more than most countries in the world: with more than 230,000 deaths, it is the fourth country with the highest number of incidences. This shows the level of alert to which the population has been subjected, which included severe restrictions on mobility and severe blows to business confidence.
However, in parallel, the light never stopped shining from the international market. Particularly, foodstuffs had a smaller reduction in demand due to their necessity or their relative low cost compared to other dispensable options for the consumer. Thus, Mexican agri-food exports grew 2.65% last year, compared to an 8.5% drop in the country's GDP.
The following table shows a detail of the main components of this segment, and the performance of its sales in terms of quantity or volume.
The recent upswing
And the good news continued this year. Most of the major products in the agri-food portfolio have remained up, and even reversed their decline. In terms of revenues, the recovery of alcoholic beverages is in line with the improved outlook for economic growth. Malt beer generates more than US$5 billion a year in export revenues, while tequila brings in more than US$2 billion a year.
The exact figure for total export revenues from agri-food portfolio products in the first three months of the year is US$11.051 billion, the highest level since 1993, according to a report in El Financiero. With this, the agricultural and agroindustrial trade balance reached a positive balance of US $2,827, the fourth highest for the first quarter since 1995.
The first-quarter performance may only be a warning of what is to come for the rest of the year. The momentum of demand recovery in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Europe may be such that sales could grow more in value than in volume due to capacity overcapacity.
However, it should always be kept in mind that the performance of the agri-food industry is highly dependent on weather conditions. Rainfall, air and sea temperatures can play both for and against, while the timing of pruning can be changed to bring harvests in line with market conditions.
But above all, the consumption of goods with high storage capacity such as beverages, bakery products and frozen products seem to be outside the above restrictions. A portion of the 2020 production may even reach or have reached the hands of consumers in recent months.
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