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Mexico second largest exporter of ag to Canada

Agrifood exports from Mexico to the Canadian market between January and September this year increased by 11 percent over the same period of 2013, said the representative of the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture in Canada.

In the first nine months of 2013, total Mexican agricultural exports amounted to $1,130 million dollars, and in the same period this year they amounted to $1,253 million, i.e. 11 percent more.

Meanwhile, Canadian exports increased by 1.10 percent, from $1,069 million to $1,081 dollars during the same period.

If 2014 ends with this trend, this will be the first year that Mexico recovers a trade surplus with Canada, said Minister Raul Lopez Mercado, representative of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA) in Canada.

In 2012, Mexico had a deficit in the trade balance with Canada that in the agricultural sector amounted to $451 million dollars. Last year, that deficit amounted to only $43 million and the trend is that in 2014, for the first time in several years, Mexico will have a surplus, said Lopez.

"Up to September this year, we had a surplus for the first time that amounted to $172 million dollars and, hopefully, we'll close the year with that trend," he said.

The official said Mexican agricultural exports to Canada had improved, especially in the last two years, when they grew at an annual rate of 10 percent.

Mexico is the second largest exporter of agricultural products to Canada after the United States, although it is the biggest exporter in certain products, such as tomatoes, peppers, avocado, raspberries, grapes and guava.

"Mexican products are of high quality and are increasingly more rooted in the taste of the Canadian market," said Lopez Mercado.

The main agricultural products that Canada imports from Mexico, in addition to those already mentioned, are: mangoes, asparagus, onions, strawberries, watermelon, pumpkin, cabbage, lemon, coffee, chocolate and green beans.

Also, the main products that Mexico imports from Canada are: canola seeds, wheat, canola, lentils, canary seed and wafers, frozen potatoes and food for dogs and cats, according to SAGARPA.

Lopez Mercado said that, in addition to the traditional agricultural products exported to Canada, sugar cane was being well received.

Between January and September 2013, Mexico exported $10 million dollars in sugarcane to Canada, a number that increased to $53 million dollars in the same period this year.

Sagarpa's office in Canada and the Embassy of Mexico in Ottawa coordinate throughout the year the participation of Mexican farmers in international trade fairs, which helps promote Mexican products.

Lopez Mercado said that Mexico's participation in at least five agricultural and agro-food fairs in major Canadian cities helped promote Mexican products.

"The Canadian consumer values the quality of Mexican products," he said.

"We are above other food producing countries, such as China, South Africa or New Zealand," said the official, adding: "Mexico has done a good job."

Source: Vanguardia

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