The president of the U.S. Grains Council says Mexico, the number one customer of U.S. corn, is considering offering duty-free access to Brazil and Argentina.
Tom Sleight tells Brownfield corn originating from South America is already competitively priced, and eliminating tariffs would likely result in less demand for grain produced in the U.S.
“We don’t want to see your best customer start to look elsewhere. That, combined with a lot of the intertwining transportation and marketing challenges you already have between the U.S. and Mexico…you don’t want to disturb those either.”
Mexican corn imports from the U.S. were valued at more than $2 billion dollars in 2015.
Sleight says officials in Mexico are upset about Trump Administration trade and immigration policies and willing to retaliate.
“The problem is that you start to see political considerations come into what normally has been a no-brainer economic decision for Mexican feed millers to source their grain from the United States.”
Sleight says while it’s tough to compete with the logistical advantages enjoyed by the U.S., buyers in Mexico are definitely open to sourcing corn supplies from South America.
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