Brazil welcomes renewal of Mexico’s anti-inflation package

The Brazilian ministry of agriculture welcomed Mexico’s renewal, for another year, of measures against inflation that exempt certain food products from import taxes, a boon to Brazilian exporters, reported Reuters.

The list of products benefiting from the measures, whose renewal became effective on Thursday, include poultry meat, pork, beef, corn, rice and eggs.

In 2023, Mexico became Brazil’s fifth biggest trading partner, behind China, the United States, Argentina and the European Union, according to the ministry.

The trade boost was largely the result of a Mexican anti-inflationary package in May 2022, which facilitated the entry of Brazilian products into the Mexican market.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday said the extension of the measures, as well as gasoline cost controls, benefited consumers.

“We have to take care as to not have prices go up, to not have inflation go up, because otherwise, purchasing power takes a hit,” he told a regular news conference.

The measures also helped Mexico to surpass Chile and Paraguay as the second biggest destination for Brazilian agricultural exports in Latin America, the ministry said.

Citing trade data between January and November 2023, the government said Brazilian agricultural exports to Mexico reached around $2.26 billion.

Brazil is the second biggest supplier of poultry meat to the Mexican market, the ministry said. In September 2022, it started sending pork shipments to that country.

Before the anti-inflation measures, import tariffs were 16% for Brazilian pork and up to 75% for chicken meat, according to ABPA, a Brazilian lobby representing food processors including BRF SA and JBS SA.

While the trade increase has been welcomed, Mexican lobbies, opposed to the competition of Brazilian imports applied to the courts to suspend pork imports from Brazil.

Mexico’s agriculture ministry did not immediately reply when asked about status of the pork ban.

The Brazilian agriculture ministry said the Mexican government had told it the court decision preventing meat exports to the country could be suspended “in the coming weeks”.

In early December, after the import ban was enforced, the Brazilian agriculture ministry said Brazilian pork products worth $60 million had been shipped and awaited authorization to enter Mexico.