Soy imports to Mexico maintain an upward trend

Soybean imports to Mexico have maintained an upward trend in recent years and that same direction could continue, according to estimates by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

At a year-on-year rate, soybean imports to Mexico grew 1.7% in 2020, to $ 2.225 billion.

Statistics from the Ministry of Economy show that of this total external purchases, 86.5% came from the United States and the remaining 13.5% from Brazil.

Among the most important uses of soy is obtaining protein, oil, lecithin and forages.

Likewise, soybeans are cultivated for the production of seeds that are transformed into flour for the production of feed for livestock.

For vegetarians, soy is an excellent substitute for meat.

In particular, soybean oil is used for human consumption and for industrial uses, such as the manufacture of margarines, butters and chocolates.

Soy imports

According to private and official sources, soybean production in Mexico for the 2020/2021 marketing years (September-August) is forecast to remain unchanged at 250,000 tons with an estimated 145,000 hectares of harvested area.

This supposes the resumption of normal climatic conditions, mainly in the Yucatan peninsula.

The determining factor that predominates in the yield of Mexican soybeans continues to be the climate, since more than 81% of the soy production area of ​​Mexico is not irrigated.

This level of production only supplies 4% of total domestic consumption, a level similar to that of a year ago.

In terms of value, soybean imports to Mexico rose continuously: in 2016 (1,620 million dollars), 2017 (1,732 million), 2018 (2,002 million) and 2019 (2,187 million).

Market trend

According to USDA estimates, soy imports to Mexico are expected to increase 100,000 tons in the 2020/2021 cycle to 6.1 million tons.

Among the main causes are the moderate increase in demand for food, strong demand for processors and population growth.

In demand for animal feed, the USDA expects increasing purchases from poultry producers, as poultry is one of the cheapest sources of animal protein for Mexican consumers.

Soybeans continue to be the main oilseed imported by Mexico that is crushed domestically, a trend that should continue for the foreseeable future.

In terms of volume, soy imports to Mexico totaled 5 million 727,000 tons in the 2020 calendar year, a decrease of 4.4% year-on-year.