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Tortilla theory: Why US pork sales to Mexico are falling

According to an US economist, Steve Meyer, the high tortilla prices could be one reason why the United States is selling less pork to Mexico this year.

Mexico is the US's no. 2 export market for hams and other hog cuts, but for the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year pork exports are down 20%.

Meyer, a livestock economist at Paragon Economics in Iowa said that tortillas are a staple of the Mexican diet and they have risen in price by 40% since late 2006, thus leaving less money for other food stuffs, namely pork.

According to one Mexican official the higher-priced tortillas have reduced the buying power of poorer families which has led to a fall in pork consumption.

Earlier this month the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reduced its forecast for 2007 US pork exports by 6%, Meyer believes this is more than likely due to the lower sales in Mexico.
 
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