Meat & Livestock News

Mexico’s 2024 Strategy: Extending Duty Exemption on Meat Imports

Production of meat products in the supermarket in the supermarket. Next, distribution of finished products to the store’s shop for customers

In a decisive move to tackle escalating food prices, the Mexican government has prolonged its policy of exempting certain food imports from duties, including key items like pork, beef, and poultry. This extension, stretching to the end of 2024, marks a continuation of a policy first implemented in May 2022, initially planned for a year but now solidifying into a more permanent strategy.

Erin Borror of the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) provides insights into this development. The extension, which goes beyond the previously anticipated end in 2023, signals Mexico’s commitment to a longer-term approach in its trade policy.

The duty-free status benefits US and Canadian pork exports to Mexico, a privilege granted under NAFTA and USMCA. However, the zero-duty policy has also been advantageous for European pork, and since early 2023, for Brazilian pork.

Brazil’s entry into the Mexican market was significant, with monthly exports exceeding 5,000 tonnes. Yet, a legal ruling in late 2023 temporarily halted these imports due to non-compliance with Mexico’s health standards, as reported by USMEF.

The US, despite the competition, has seen an uptick in its pork export share to Mexico. Borror notes that the chilled nature of most US pork exports gives it a competitive edge, difficult for Brazil to match. This has led to the US capturing 84% of the pork export market in Mexico, primarily affecting imports from Canada and the EU.

This move by Mexico to extend duty exemptions on meat imports into 2024 is a strategic step in the global meat trade, reflecting the country’s efforts to balance international trade relations with domestic price control.