June 20, 2017


Mexico could offer trade opportunities for EU pork exporters


The scrapping or renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could open the door of Mexico's pig-meat market to the EU, once an EU-Mexico FTA is forged.


AHDB Pork said that at present the UK has no access to the Mexican market but that 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", it said.


Mexico is the fourth-largest global importer of chilled and frozen pork after China, Japan and Italy. In 2016 its total import 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 countries have duty-free access under NAFTA, while other suppliers are levied import tariff of 20%. Because of this, the EU is not a significant supplier.


Mexico cannot cope with its increasing consumer demand. While pig-meat consumption between 2005 and 2016 averaged 4% per annum, production growth was only 2% per annum, the pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board noted, citing figures from the US Department of Agriculture.


"As a result, increasing imports have been required to offset the production deficit", AHDB Pork stated.


As a pork exporter, Mexico is still insignificant, as shipments only amounted to 105,000 tonnes last year. However, according to AHDB Pork, its new classical swine fever-free status opens the door to increased export opportunities. Its main foreign buyer is Japan, which accounts for 75-80% of total export volumes, followed by South Korea at nearly 10%.-Rick Alberto