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USDA GAIN: Livestock and Products

06 March 2014

USDA GAIN: Mexico Livestock and Products Semi-annual 2014USDA GAIN: Mexico Livestock and Products Semi-annual 2014

Mexican beef and pork production forecasts are slightly higher in 2014 as affordable grain prices and improved climate conditions are helping the sector continue to recover. Import demand for US beef and pork is expected to remain strong as US prices are competitive and exports could be trimmed back as domestic consumers appear to have a greater willingness to pay for product in competition with export markets.

USDA GAIN: Livestock and Products


Animal Numbers, Swine
Meat, Swine


2014 Forecast and 2013 Estimate Increased Marginally as Production Practices Improve and Producers Anticipate Market Demand

The new Post 2014 Mexican pork production forecast is 1.295 MMT CWE slightly up from the official USDA data, due to the continued incorporation of new breeding lines, better farm management techniques, and increasing slaughter weights that have allowed production of more meat from fewer hogs. The revised 2013 production estimate is marginally higher from the USDA estimate to 1.281 MMT CWE, based on preliminary official figures from SAGARPA that take into account the aforementioned trends. Industry members are expected to strengthen and expand the productivity of nearly 5,600 farms to be able to meet anticipated demand for pork cut exports for the Japanese and Korean markets as well as the potential opening of the Chinese market. Post’s 2012 production estimate is unchanged.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) Virus Present in Mexico

According to private sources, the PED outbreak has hit some of the major producing areas of the country; including Michoacan, Jalisco, and the “El Bajio” region. Reportedly, PED hit the city of La Piedad, Michoacan, in July 2013 and spread to the neighboring state of Jalisco. Sources indicate that adverse climate conditions with lower temperatures later acted as a vector to spread the virus to the “El Bajio” states of Guanajuato, Queretaro, and to the valley of Mexico and Puebla as well as the northern states of Sinaloa and Sonora. Despite the geographic spread of PED in Mexico, sources report that the virus has not hit an excessive number of farms. The virus presence, however, was one of the leading causes for Post to revise its loss forecast for 2014 and loss estimate for 2013. Industry sources report the sector is becoming vigilant with biosecurity measures and looking for vaccination options to prevent the spread of the virus. As such, even greater losses are not yet anticipated.

But Production Forecast Slightly Higher As Operators Carry Animals to Heavier Weights with Better Genetics and Attractive Grain Prices

Despite PED, Post is forecasting slightly higher production in 2014 and revised its 2013 estimate greater as swine operations are carrying animals to heavier weights and continuing to introduce better genetics. Industry sources report that swine continue to be slaughtered at around 115 kg live weight with a carcass weight of around 82 kg. These members report that swine are held in feed lot operations for around 50 days.

As previously reported, pork feed is based on yellow corn and sorghum and represents approximately 64 percent of the production cost. Industry sources report that although these feed grains are a staple, some northern Mexico producers are feeding hogs with Durum wheat, which is seasonally over supplied, as a special request from interested customers who reportedly find, the taste, color and tenderness of resulting pork cuts an added-value asset. As previously reported, spokespersons for the Mexican pork sector report that pork producers in the states of Sonora and Sinaloa have been requested to supply specific Asian markets with pork meat from animals exclusively fed on wheat but given current low prices for yellow corn this appears to be done only upon request.


The Post 2014 total pork consumption estimate is 1.96 MMT CWE slightly lower that the official USDA figure as imports are expected slightly lower than the USDA forecast and competition with poultry prices has led to relatively stable, albeit growing, demand. Post’s 2013 estimate of pork consumption was revised downward to account for weaker imports. Post’s 2012 estimate remains unchanged based on official data.

In order to promote consumption, pork sector sources report that they are trying to hold prices unchanged to attract more consumers despite increasing costs for biosecurity and animal health measures.


The Post 2014 import forecast is 790,000 MT CWE slightly down from the official USDA data based on the slight increase in production, the sustained demand from the processing sector for picnic and hams, as well as for other cuts or mechanically deboned meat that has a competitive price in Mexico. The Post 2013 pork import estimate is revised downwards to 755,000 MT CWE based on trade data and the slight increase in domestic production. The majority of Mexico’s pork imports remain hams and picnic as well as mechanically deboned meat (MDM) for the preparation of sausages, deli hams, and other cold cuts. Post’s 2012 pork import figures were kept unchanged from official data.

The Post pork export estimate for 2014 is raised slightly from the USDA official forecast to 125,000 MT CWE as the country looks actively to open export markets and expand its share of exports to Asian markets; like Japan. The Post 2013 new export estimate is revised downward fractionally to 109,000 MT CWE based on trade data availability. Post’s 2012 export estimate is unchanged and based on official data.

Japan remains Mexico’s number one export market by volume and value and it’s not expected to change. Pork meat exports to Japan and the United States are mostly loin whereas exports to South Korea consist of bone-in pork.

March 2014

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