(The News) The United States announced yesterday that it will sell 1.516 million tons of corn to Mexico, the fourth largest sale of corn to a foreign country U.S. history.
Corn producers and exporters told the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, that they will sell Mexico 982,980 tons of corn during the 2012-2013 marketing year and 533, 400 tons during the 2013-2014 marketing year.
The 2012-2013 marketing year begins on September 1.
The details of the historic purchase were released in a report by the USDA summarizing the daily volume of corn exportation.
Agricultural producers in the United States are required to inform the USDA about any exportation of more than 100,000 tons. The report, however, does not reveal identities of the buyers and sellers.
The massive purchase comes at a time when corn prices have risen more than 50 percent since June 2011. The drought, which is affecting over half of the country, has ravaged crops in the midwestern United States, the largest corn producer in the world.
Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives called on the Environmental Protection Agency to lower the corn-content mandate for ethanol fuels in an attempt to control the rising price of the staple on Thursday.
According to the Associated Press, the USDA reported last week that rising corn prices are expected to push up food prices between 3 and 4 percent next year. According to Fox Business, an estimated 40 percent of corn produced in the United States goes into producing ethanol fuel.
Market analysts stated that the purchase will protect Mexico, one of the largest corn importers in the world, from shortages or significant spikes in the price of corn, a common ingredient in many of the country’s staple dishes.
According to the USDA, the 1.516-million ton purchase is the largest of its kind since the 1980s, when the Soviet Union bought 3.7 million tons of corn from the United States shortly before breaking apart.
The purchase is also the fourth largest corn purchase made by a foreign client in the history of the United States, which exports more than 60 million tons of corn each year.