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Mexicos chicken meat production, consumption, and imports are projected for 2021

16.03.2021 16:35 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U. S. Department of Agriculture attache in The Mexico City (Mexico), Mexicos chicken meat production, consumption, and imports are projected for 2021.

Chicken meat production and consumption through 2020 benefited from growing demand for a more affordable, versatile, and healthy source of animal protein. Mexicos 2020 imports declined from 2019, but still heavily depends on them to satisfy domestic demand, especially for processing. The United States remains the lead provider of chicken meat to Mexico, benefitting from expired third-country tariff-rate quotas disadvantaging Brazil and Chile in 2020.

Turkey meat: In 2021, turkey meat production, consumption, and imports are expected to increase and exports are forecast to drop. Steady retail consumer demand driven by the perception of turkey meat as a healthy meat and steady production will be complemented by U.S. imports.

Egg and egg products: In 2021, egg and egg products production, consumption, imports, and exports are all expected to increase. During the ongoing pandemic, eggs and egg products saw strong demand from households staying home and cooking more, as well as from baking operations. Mexico retains its place as the worlds number one consumer of eggs.

Chicken Meat Production

In 2021, chicken meat production is estimated to grow 1.5 percent, reaching 3.78 million MT, on increased operational efficiencies, growing flock, and better genetics. However, this will be the slowest growth rate since 2013 due to projected price increases in yellow corn, for which poultry producers are extremely reliant. U.S. yellow corn imports have made up almost 50 percent of total feed production in recent years and poultry producers are more price sensitive to increased feed costs compared to the beef and swine industries. Producers do have the capacity to hedge against increases in feed prices by purchasing and storing grains and, in a worst-case scenario where feed prices do not decrease, are willing to pass on the price to retail consumers.

In 2020, chicken meat production was 3.725 million MT. In Mexico, through 2020, COVID-19 outbreaks and high number of deaths did negatively affect labor availability at farms, slaughtering plants, and meatpacking floors. Health challenges among workers and adverse business conditions caused smaller companies to face operational and financial hardships, pushing some to the brink of bankruptcy. Larger, vertically integrated companies acted on these opportunities to acquire the struggling smaller companies, thereby expanding their assets, flocks, and production footprint across Mexico. As the industry further consolidates, increased

biosecurity capacity should help keep Mexicos favorable animal health status and minimize the risk of disease outbreaks and animal deaths. Producers were motivated by continued market demand for their product, which was supplemented by household use of chicken meat in light of fluctuating HRI demand stemming from unpredictable shutdowns.

Chicken Meat Consumption

In 2021, chicken meat consumption is forecast to grow 2 percent, reaching 4.633 million MT. Due to its affordability, chicken meat is the most consumed meat

in Mexico with near 39 percent market share. This trend should continue through 2021 as the economy struggles to recuperate and households continue to

cook homemade meals. Chicken meat should retain its advantage as the lowestcost meat with price conscious buyers, its perception among consumers as a

healthier meat compared pork or beef, and its versatility. In 2021, as pandemic safety measures are loosened, retail consumers who begin to eat out more will likely consume pork, giving the latter animal protein a faster growth rate.

In 2020, chicken meat consumption was 4.6 million MT. Consumption increased during 2020, as households moved away from more expensive animal proteins due to diminished income and higher unemployment, according to the National Statistics Institute (INEGI) data.

Chicken Meat Trade

In 2021, chicken meat imports are forecast to grow 2 percent, reaching 860,000 MT. Imports should begin to recuperate in 2021 despite a weak Mexican economy, which could see GDP growth of 3.5 percent from 2020 after a decline of -8.5 percent from 2019, according to INEGI.

The HRI sector is expected to continue struggling, but is already adopting new commercial channels, such as e-commerce and order-to-go. Mexicos retailers and meat processors heavily depend on chicken meat imports — especially mechanically deboned meat and breasts — for further processing, to satisfy demand. The driving force at the retail level for these processed products are consumers looking for quick, affordable, and individually packaged meat products.

Mexicos growing convenience store chains and self-service options support this growth.

In 2020, chicken meat imports from all countries were 842,000 MT, a decline of 4 percent.

However, U.S. chicken meat imports grew in the same period, allowing the United States increased market share from 87 percent to 95 percent. Imports from Brazil declined dramatically without the renewal of a third-country tariff-rate quota.

In 2021, chicken meat exports are forecast to remain flat, at 7,000 MT. In, 2020 chicken meat exports were 7,000 MT. Chicken meat export growth is limited by Mexicos eligibility to export only fully cooked poultry products to the United States — potentially its largest export market — and underdeveloped demand in other export markets to which it has access.

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