Due to its price and versatility, chicken and pork meat have positioned themselves as the preferred animal proteins of Mexicans. However, its consumption is growing faster than domestic production, which is why the imported product has gained market share in the last decade and dependence on Mexico marks an upward trend.

Last year, imports represented 19% of the apparent national consumption of chicken meat, 0.2 percentage points more than in 2020 and 6.6 points more than in 2013, according to calculations based on figures from the Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service. , of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

From January to December 2021, Mexicans consumed four million 512,000 tons of chicken meat, a figure 2.5% higher than that of 2020. National production grew 2.3% to three million 660,000 million tons, while imports expanded 3.6% to 858,000 tons.

The United States is the main supplier with a market share of 86%, according to figures from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In the case of pork, the coverage of imports is considerably higher. In 2021, the product brought from abroad reached a record share of 43.9% of apparent national consumption, 4.8 percentage points more than the previous year and more than 11 percentage points above the 2013 level.

That year, the consumption of Mexicans grew 11.3% to two million 541,000 million tons. While national production rose just 2.1% to 1,687,000 tons, imports climbed 25% to 1,115,000 tons.

The USDA records that, in this line, the US market share in Mexican imports reaches 89%, while Canada’s is 10 percent.

In a broad look, from 2013 to 2021, Mexican consumption of chicken meat has expanded 4.4% each year on average, while national production has grown 3.4% and imports have grown 10.1 percent.

In the case of pork, consumption has risen at an average rate of 4.6%, while local production has done so at a rate of 3.5 and imports at 8.6 percent.

In that same period, to measure, the consumption of beef grew just 0.1% each year, with an increase in local production of 1.5% and a fall in imports of 3.4 percent.

rising prices

This week a decree came into force that orders the elimination of tariffs on the importation of food grouped into 66 tariff fractions, among which is chicken, pork and beef, with the purpose of expanding the supply of these products and mitigating inflationary pressures.

In the last year the meat sector in Mexico (which includes chicken, beef, pork and cold meats) had an average price increase of 35%, an inflationary situation that the industry will continue to suffer for the rest of the year and could reduce the consumption, commented yesterday Ernesto Hermosillo, president of the Mexican Meat Council (Comecarne).

The executive affirmed that the temporary elimination of tariffs implemented by the federal government as a measure to combat inflation will only help the sector to have an additional source of supply of meat products with zero tariffs and compensate, in the case of chicken, for the shortage coming from the United States. United States that is already done without a tariff, but is currently facing the problem of avian influenza, he explained.

When presenting the Statistical Compendium of the meat sector in Mexico 2021, Hermosillo highlighted that Mexico advanced to the fifth position as per capita consumer of meat in the world, with 73.2 kilograms. Mexicans consume a higher percentage of chicken (48% of total consumption); followed by pork, 28% and beef at 21 percent.

In a virtual press conference, the president of Comecarne explained that chicken has been one of the products with the greatest impact on cost and supply, derived from the lower availability due to the influenza disease that chickens face in the United States, and the increase in the cost of food grain after Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“This year prices are going to continue to rise, I don’t think we have seen the end. We are still going to be suffering a little this year and it is worrying that per capita consumption will decrease,” said the leader.

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