Mexico issues threat affecting U.S. corn growers

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In response to threats made by President Donald Trump to restrict free trade with Mexico, the country is now threatening to stop all imports of yellow corn.

According to Yahoo News, Mexico imports billions of dollars in U.S. corn every year to feed its livestock, and it’s their fourth-biggest import from the United States, after gasoline, diesel and natural gas.

“For U.S. corn producers, Mexico is their number one export customer,” Thomas Sleight, president of the U.S. Grains Council, told AFP.

Sleight said corn growers are worried about the effect this could have on their business and future relationships with customers.

“They are concerned about maintaining excellent relationships with long-standing customers that they’ve built over generations.”

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Mexico’s Agriculture Secretary Jose Calzada said Mexico is considering Brazil and Argentina as other corn producers. But, if Mexico chooses that route, it will cost them.

According to the head of a Mexican marketing firm, Agricultural Markets Consulting Group, U.S. corn comes in at a cheaper cost. While U.S. corn is $198 a ton, Brazilian corn costs $210 a ton and Argentine corn $217 a ton.

Trump said he wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada to protect American industries and jobs. However, those in the agriculture industry could suffer if Mexico decides to stop importing U.S. corn.

“The sector in the U.S. is struggling under the weight of low prices, reduced land values, and rising interest rates, meaning farm profitability has declined”, said analysis firm BMI Research, Yahoo News reports. “U.S. farmers would suffer considerably from trade disruption with Mexico.”

H/T: Yahoo News

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