LatinNews Daily - 17 January 2023

In brief: Mexico’s gov’t imposes tax on white corn exports

*Mexico’s government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced it will temporarily impose a 50% tax on exports of white corn, stating it is necessary to stabilise domestic prices and ensure sufficient supply. The tax will remain in place until 30 June 2023, according to a decree published in the official gazette (DOF) which was signed by López Obrador, Finance Minister Rogelio Ramírez de la O and Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro. The decree states that “the supply and production of white corn in our country are important factors in determining its price and, therefore, also of the various consumer products made from it, mainly tortillas.” The decree goes on to state that “in order to guarantee a sufficient supply it is necessary to maintain domestic production in our country and ensure market conditions to allow the stabilising of its price”. Mexico is self-sufficient in white corn but currently depends on imports of yellow corn from the US, which it uses primarily for animal feed. A plan to halt imports of genetically modified yellow corn by January 2024 – since extended to 2025 – has caused considerable strain between Mexico and the US in recent months, given that genetically modified corn makes up over 90% of US corn crops.

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