April 15, 2004
There is demand for quality U.S. pinto and black beans in Mexico, says Bill Thoreson, manager, North Central Commodities, Johnstown, N.D.
Thats the main message Thoreson delivered at Bean Day about prospects of pinto and black bean sales to Mexico in 2004.
Several factors are affecting pinto and black export prospects for 2004, he says.
On the negative side, several of Mexicos main bean producing states have had very good crops in the fall of 2003.
Also, overall bean consumption is declining as Mexican lifestyles change. As more women take fulltime jobs, they look for foods that dont take as long to prepare as dry beans.
In 2003, government officials raised what many U.S. traders thought were contrived excuses for stopping shipments of U.S. dry beans from entering the country, even though the shipments were allowed under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
On the positive side, tariffs on bean imports over the level specified in NAFTA will decline from 58% in 2003 to 46.9%, Thoreson says.
Also, the Mexican government aims to idle about 20% of the dry bean acreage. It is offering growers payments to divert land to oats, for example. Oats are needed to support the growing livestock industry.
Well ship some beans to Mexico in 2004, Thoreson says. It is just a matter of when.
To view Thoresons Bean Day presentation visit the Northarvest Bean Growers Associations Web site, www.northarvestbean.org. Click on the grower section and then Bean Day Roundup headline.