A Deep Dive into the Mexican Meat Market

U.S. red meat exports have reached record levels in Mexico, making this an ideal time for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF)’s inaugural U.S. Red Meat Symposium in Mexico City. The symposium examined Mexico’s economic and political climate, highlighting the market’s continued growth potential and explore emerging opportunities for U.S. red meat.

USMEF Chair Randy Spronk and secretary/treasurer Dave Bruntz participated in the event held June 13-14, along with key USMEF staff from Mexico and the Denver headquarters. USMEF wants to emphasize the industry’s commitment to this critical market, the organization said in a release.

“Mexico is a very important customer for us, especially with its potential for undervalued cuts,” Spronk said in a release. “The turnout for this symposium was outstanding, we even had to limit the number of importers who could attend. I expect it will become a recurring event for the industry.”

One of the valuable components of the symposium was the face-to-face networking opportunities for U.S. suppliers and Mexican importers, including product displays and samplings, USMEF said. In addition, influential speakers offered assessments on U.S.-Mexico trade relations, Mexico’s agricultural production and digital trends in the meat industry.

“There’s uncertainty on exporters’ minds related to the recent presidential election, while importers were asking about our cattle cycle,” USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said in a release. “But mostly, buyers and sellers were talking about demand. Some may see Mexico as a mature market, but it is still a growing market. As reflected by the market tours, presentations and trade discussions these past two days, there are new and emerging opportunities here for our products.”

The director of USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico City, Jonn Slette, also sees Mexico as a growth market.

“I would say that Mexico is still a developing market. Over 60% of Mexicans are still at or below the poverty line and as they move into the middle class, that’s where our growth is going to be,” Slette said in a release.

The symposium received support from the National Pork Board, the Beef Checkoff Program, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, Nebraska Beef Council and USDA’s Market Access Program.