AMLO: the tortilla will not rise in price in January, soft drinks only 3%

Photo: Presidency of Mexico.
Photo: Presidency of Mexico.

During his morning conference, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that Tomorrow he will talk about the changes in the prices of some products in the basic basket for the year 2021.

In addition, he reported that one of the foods that will not change their price are tortillas. This, according to the president, due to agreements made by the government with the companies Maseca and Minsa, which are responsible for producing the raw material that is used in many tortillerías for the preparation of typical Mexican food.

Other products and services that will not increase in price at the beginning of the new year will be gasoline and fuels, according to the president. He clarified that the price increases that energy companies will receive have to do with adjustments for inflation to be made to the Special Tax on Production and Services. This setting will also affect sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, and cigars. The increase in this tax will be around 3%.

EFE / Jose Pazos
EFE / Jose Pazos

Maseca is the first producer of nixtamalized corn flour in Mexico. Currently, Grupo Industrial Maseca (GIMSA), It is part of the Gruma company, which bought the majority of GIMSA’s shares in 2017.

Gruma has its largest market in the United States (USA), where, during 2019, it made sales of 42,368 million pesos with products such as Mission, Guerrero and Calidad that are sold in that country such as corn flour and wheat tortillas. Currently, Gruma sees in the US its main opportunity for growth and investment.

On the other hand, Gruma’s presence in Mexico is through its subsidiary GIMSA. The main product of this Mexican company is its nixtamalized corn flour, with which, according to Maseca estimates, A quarter of the tortillas consumed by the Mexican population are made.

GIMSA calculates that in the country there are around 110,000 tortillerías, of which, the majority, use traditional methods for the production of the dough with which tortillas are made. In such a way that two thirds of the tortillas produced in Mexico are manufactured in a traditional way.

File image of an employee weighing freshly made tortillas at a factory in Mexico City, Mexico.  February 22, 2019. REUTERS / Daniel Becerril
File image of an employee weighing freshly made tortillas at a factory in Mexico City, Mexico. February 22, 2019. REUTERS / Daniel Becerril

Although in the corn flour market it has competitors such as Grupo Minsa, Hari Masa, Cargill and Molinos Anáhuac, The main competitor of the largest producer of corn flour in Mexico are the producers of traditional dough, not the other companies.

In Mexico, Gruma’s sales amounted to 21,046 million pesos. Maseca reports, for its part, a sale of 2,042 tons during 2019. The vast majority of GIMSA’s sales are of its nixtamalized corn flour products, and represent 99% of the volume traded.

In addition to providing flour for the production of the domestic tortilla, GIMSA sells corn products to producers of snacks and fried foods derived from Mexican grain.

The daughter of Gonzalo Ramirez cooks tortillas at their home, in La Palmilla, Guatemala October 9, 2020. Picture taken October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Josue Decavele
The daughter of Gonzalo Ramirez cooks tortillas at their home, in La Palmilla, Guatemala October 9, 2020. Picture taken October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Josue Decavele

In 2019, Maseca imported 21% of the corn that it takes to its mills to produce the flour it trades with. In its annual report, it added that most of its domestic purchases are through Compañía Nacional Almacenadora, a subsidiary of the same Grupo Industrial Maseca. The price of corn depends on the international market and the exchange rate against the dollar.

Gruma, group to which Maseca belongs, it also sells raw materials and products in Europe, Central America, Asia and Oceania.

It should be noted that The companies with which Gruma sold products to Venezuela were expropriated by the government of that country in 2010. For this reason, the operations of this group in the South American nation were discontinued.

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