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Mexico increases corn imports from Brazil amid concern that NAFTA renegotiations will threaten U.S.

Brazilian corn exports to Mexico climbed to 583,000 metric tons in 2017 – a 970 percent jump over 2016 – an increase that has U.S. farmers, food processors, and grain traders working to protect the more than $19 billion in sales to Mexican buyers of everything from corn and soybeans to dairy and poultry.

Cheaper prices for Brazilian corn drove some of the surge in purchases, but for some, like Edmundo Miranda – commercial director of Grupo Gramosa, one of Mexico’s top grains merchants – it was “to see how practical and profitable it was to buy from Brazil or Argentina given the possibility of trade tariffs because of NAFTA renegotiations.”

Mexico is the top importer of U.S. corn, purchasing 14.7 million tons in 2017, according to U.S. government data.

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