USGC: US feed grains exports to Mexico soar in 2015-‘16

By U.S. Grains Council | September 29, 2016

A recent U.S. Grains Council Chart of Note shows the standout performance of U.S. exports of U.S. feed grains in all forms to Mexico over the past six years.

For marketing year 2015-‘16, USGC forecasts U.S. exports of these products—including corn, barley and sorghum as well as co-products like distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and products that require these grains, like meats—to Mexico will total a record 22.7 million metric tons, up 14 percent from last year and up 30 percent since 2010/2011.

This year’s export success again makes Mexico the top U.S. export destination for the nation’s feed grain producers when all forms of feed grains are considered. 

For comparison, U.S. exports to the whole world are expected to remain roughly unchanged from last year. The double-digit increase in exports to Mexico is a testament to the growing importance of that country to U.S. grain exports, as corn, sorghum and DDGS all experienced significant gains from last year. 

U.S. corn exports to Mexico are at a record high. In the 2015-‘16 marketing year, an estimated 13 million tons of U.S. corn was exported to Mexico, a 19 percent increase from the previous year of 10.2 million tons and a 75 percent increase from 2010-‘11. Over the past six years, more than 55 million metric tons of corn have been exported to Mexico. 

In addition, DDGS experienced a 16 percent increase from the previous marketing year, increasing from 1.59 million tons to an estimated 1.8 million tons. Sorghum exports to Mexico saw a three-year high with an estimated 600,000 tons. 

Total meat exports, including beef, pork and poultry, are projected to decrease by 3 percent from 2014-‘15, though there has been a 20 percent increase since 2010-‘11. In the last few years, U.S. commodity prices have been cheaper than Mexican prices, contributing to marginal increases in herd size and fewer imports of U.S. pork and poultry. 

With U.S. exports of feed grains in all forms to the world expected to reach roughly 100 million tons in the 2015-‘16 marketing year, Mexico will account for about 23 percent of the total. That means roughly one in four bushels exported by the U.S. in one form or another will go to Mexico. 

The success of U.S. grains in Mexico is due to a combination of geography, strong trade policy between the two countries in NAFTA and ongoing USGC market development programs supported by the U.S. grains industry and programs in the U.S. farm bill. 

Click here to read past Global Update articles on trade and export policy.