Mexican Drought Update
May 17, 2012
Latest information from US Dry Bean Council Mexican representative Raul Caballero is that SAGARPA has announced the official 2012 spring-summer planting program for dry beans. Programmed bean area in Zacatecas is over 574,000 hectares. However, Caballero says information he was able to collect from sources in the state puts the bean area at 480,000 hectares. 65% will be black beans, 30% Flor de Mayo and Flor de Junio beans, and 5% pintos. Of the 480,000 hectares, only 25,000 are irrigated and are being planted now. Planting will likely be delayed for dryland beans.
According to State officials, SAGARPA is being too optimistic given the drought they are currently experiencing. Zacatecas is working on switching at least 15,000 low production hectares from beans to other crops or livestock use. The current water situation is critical as they have not received rain and most crops are fed by rain. Irrigated beans will also be at risk because most of the important dams in Zacatecas are at about 21 percent of capacity and smaller ones are down to five percent or less.
In Durango, the bean planting program is expected to be similar to last year’s 220,000 hectares. Caballero says the State of Durango is reporting total drought.
The State of Chihuahua plans to plant nearly 129,000 hectares of beans, of which only 17,000 are irrigated. That state also reports total drought, and will subsidize 10,000 metric tons of bean seed.
According to US Dry Bean Council representatives in Mexico, the President of Mexico’s Bean Product System, Abraham Montes, said recently that bean production in Mexico will not recover in the Spring-Summer cycle because they lack the right conditions and the necessary water to do it.
Montes estimated Fall-Winter bean production will reach only 150,000 MT, 50 percent of normal. Montes also estimated the lack of rain will reduce bean area in the Spring-Summer cycle to 250,000 hectares, compared to the normal 1.5 million hectares.
Montes expects Mexico’s total bean production will only reach 400,000 MT, which means it’ll be necessary to import 600,000 MT to supply the domestic market.
Despite the drought, Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Francisco Mayorga said similar corn and bean import volumes will be maintained. In 2011, Mayorga said Mexico imported 170,000 MT of beans from Argentina and the United States. 1.4 million MT of corn were imported from South Africa and the US.