Photo of Mexico becoming a global pig meat player

Bethan Wilkins


AHDB Pork Market Intelligence


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Mexico becoming a global pig meat player

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2017 \ June \ Mexico becoming a global pig meat player

Mexico is becoming an increasingly important player on the global pig meat market especially in relation to trade, both imports and exports.

Domestic production has been rising in response to increasing consumer demand, although it has not yet been able to keep pace with this growth in domestic consumption. Between 2005 and 2016 the growth in pig meat consumption averaged 4% per annum, while production growth was only 2% per annum according to the USDA. As a result, increasing imports have been required to offset the production deficit.

Mexico is the fourth largest global importer of chilled and frozen pork after China, Japan and Italy. In 2016 the total volume amounted to 755,000 tonnes. Trade is dominated by the US, with a market share of over 85%. The only other significant supplier is Canada. Both of these countries have duty-free access under NAFTA, unlike other suppliers where the import tariff is 20%. Because of this the EU is not a significant supplier.

At the same time, Mexico has established itself as a small but growing pork exporter. Shipments only amounted to 105,000 tonnes in 2016, however its new Classical Swine Fever free status opens the door to increased export opportunities. So far, its main trade is with Japan which accounts for 75-80% of total volumes followed by South Korea, nearer 10%.

What factors might impact on the Mexican pig meat market in the future? Without NAFTA, or following its renegotiation, imports from the United States would be threatened. Because of this threat Mexico is seeking alternative suppliers, such as Brazil. This could also open the door to the EU, once an EU-Mexico FTA is agreed; for more analysis on this click here. At present the UK has no access to the Mexican market but this could change. If other EU exporters, with the obvious one being Spain, are able to develop trade with Mexico this would further improve prospects for the EU pig meat market. On the export side Mexico now has access to China although trade has been negligible so far.

To read more about the Mexican pig meat situation, click here.


Leo Colby, Consultant