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Canada

5.1

5.8

6.2

7.6

8.6

Mexico

1.1

1.3

2.0

2.2

2.8

United States

4.3

5.0

6.3

8.2

9.8

2003

9.6 21.0 257.0

Canada

.7

2.6

5.7

7.1

Mexico

6.2

8.9

12.4

14.6

United States

91.4

105.5

168.6

201.5

Corn yield and production in NAFTA countries Table 5.14 Country Yield (tons per hectare) 1960 1970 1980 1990

Production (millions of metric tons)

Source: UN FAOSTAT database, 2004; USDA (2004b).

about 40 percent of total US grain exports to Mexico (USDA 2003a). Al- though there is some concern in Canada that rising US corn exports could injure Canadian corn producers, Canada plays a relatively minor role in corn disputes under NAFTA (table 5.19).137 The corn saga is essentially a US-Mexico drama.

Mexico consistently ranks as the second or third largest market for US corn, buying virtually 100 percent of its imports from the United States (Seidband 2004). During 1993–2003, the value of US corn exports to Mex- ico increased from $75 million (0.3 million metric tons) to $688 million (5.7 million metric tons). Most of the increase was in yellow corn, and the value of US yellow corn exports to Mexico as a proportion of total corn ex- ports increased from about 39 to 73 percent (tables 5.17 and 5.18). 138

Background of US-Mexico Corn Dispute

Corn is a staple in the Mexican diet (notably tortillas) and currently rep- resents around 36 percent of the value of agricultural output in Mexico (Nadal 2000). About 68 percent of the Mexican agricultural workforce,

Canada meet feed grain demand and ethanol and sweetener production; these exports reached 4 million metric tons valued at $395 million in 2002, more than five times their value in 1994. US corn imports from Canada were 0.2 million metric tons in 2002. Based on Statis- tics Canada (2003) and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FATUS) database. See also Myles and Cahoon (2004).

137. Canada does not trade much corn with Mexico. During 1993–2002, Canada exported on average about 74 percent of its corn to the United States and about 99 percent of its corn im- ports were from the United States.

138. Almost all US corn imports from Mexico during 1993–2003 were white corn for human consumption. The total value of US corn imports from Mexico increased from $0.5 million (about 1,000 metric tons) in 1993 to nearly $3 million (about 6,000 metric tons) in 2003 (see table 5.18). See USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FATUS) database, 2003.

AGRICULTURE

333

Institute for International Economics | www.iie.com

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