Mexico offers a huge and growing market, since 1994 U.S. exports of agricultural products to Mexico have increased nearly fivefold. Globalization had significant benefits for farmers and rural America because U.S. exports of agricultural products to Mexico represented over $17.9 billion dollars during 2016. Making it the third largest agricultural trading partner that account for 12% of total U.S. agricultural export. Mexico imported $2.6 billion in corn, which means that 98% of the corn that forms a staple of the Mexican diet comes from the U.S. Mexico also purchased $1.3 billion or 7.8% of all U.S. pork production, $1.5 billion in soybeans, and $1.2 billion in dairy products.
Though Mexico currently has free trade agreements with 45 countries, more than any other country in the world and currently the country is searching for new partners to meet its national agricultural needs. Sensing long-term opportunities, Brazil and Argentina — both major exporters of beef, wheat, soybeans and other prized U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico, are actively seeking to take a larger stake in the Mexican market. Neither currently has a free trade agreement with Mexico.
At the same time, Mexico have over 186,000 food processors and more than 800,000 employees the Mexican food processing sector produced $135.5 billion dollars’ worth of processed foods making it the 3rd biggest producer of the Americas and 10th producer in the world. Due to demographic and lifestyle changes, the sector would continue to expand.
Mexico truly offers huge opportunities for to processed food industry, due to the size of its domestic market and to export to the U.S. and other countries. The United States is the leading importer of processed food in the world, Canada (20.5%) is the top supplier of processed food to the U.S., followed by
Mexico (12.1%) and continues to grow annually. Mexico’s main export to the U.S. are beer, spirits & liqueurs, avocado, sugar confectionary, refined sugar and frozen vegetable.
Mexico owes its export success to the agro-industry and processed food industry's compliance with the leading health regulations in the world, including Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certifications and the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) requirements.
As of January 2018, the USDA finalized a rule stating Mexico is free from classical swine fever (CSF). Thus, allowing all Mexican states to sell pork to the United States. The decision means that 49 pig slaughter and processing plants throughout Mexico are now permitted to export across the northern border. Up until now, only 9 states of Mexico were allowed to export pork and pork products to the U.S. The US-based National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) supported the effort to allow Mexico to export a range of pork-based products to the U.S.