Rise in corn led to historical highs in tortilla prices

The corn farmers warned that the High costs of this product have shot the prices from tortillaan icon of Mexican cuisine and the basis of the national diet, at all-time highs last March.

Alvaro Lopez Riosgeneral secretary of the National Union of Farm Workers (SPREAD), stated in a bulletin that during the last week of March the average price of tortillas nationwide reached its maximum level, reaching 20.02 pesos per kilogram in traditional tortilla.

While in self-service stores the price was 13.65 pesos per kilo, which meant an increase of 24.7 percent and 11.7 percent compared to the same date in 2021.

He pointed out that in the Metropolitan Area of Mexico’s valley the frequent price is 20 pesos per kilo; however, there are entities in which the price reaches up to 27 pesos per kilogram.

The foregoing is derived from a 21 percent rise in the price of corn in the national market between March 2021 and March 2022, going from 6,057 pesos per ton to 7,327 pesos per ton,” he asserted.

In addition, he said, in this same period the future price rose by 36.5 percent, “accentuating a greater increase after the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine

This, because prior to this situation, both nations together supplied 19.5 percent of world cereal exports and currently it is estimated at 16.6 percent, a reduction of six million tons.

López Ríos pointed out that in the last seven years the production of corn in Mexico has not only not increased, but has also registered a negative average annual growth rate of 0.6 percent.

The leader also warned that for the next agricultural cycles PV 2022 and OI 2022/23 there are risks, because although the grain registers good prices, the main fertilizers used in agriculture increased average prices by 153 percent between March 2021 and so far April 2022.

Added to this is the scarcity of water for irrigation, which would slow grain production.

Similarly, he said that the OI 2021/22 harvest that is about to begin will have a drop of 8.3 percent compared to the 2020/21 period, with 7.2 million tons, which would impact further increases in the price of tortillas.

“These (increases) could range between four and five pesos per kilo, and up to seven or eight pesos per kilogram in some states in the north of the country,” he warned.

With information from EFE