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Mexico Transport Cost Indicator Report United States Department of Agriculture 25 May 2011

Mexico Transport Cost Indicator Report United States Department of Agriculture 25 May 2011

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Publisher United States Department of Agriculture
Date of Report May 25, 2011
Price $0.00
Meta Description No
Quick Overview
"Corn and Soybean Exports Down, Transportation Costs Up. During the 1st quarter 2011,
corn and soybean exports to Mexico were 25 and 27 percent lower, respectively, than
the 1st quarter of 2010 (FAS/GATS). The total transportation cost for shipping corn,
soybeans, and wheat from the United States to Guadalajara, Mexico, by both sea and
overland increased in the 1st quarter 2011 from the same time last year. Costs on both
routes were driven up by increases in rail and barge, which offset decreased rates for
ocean vessels. Overall, it was cheaper to ship overland than by maritime. Rail is the
preferred mode to ship corn and soybeans to Mexico because of rail effi ciencies caused
by larger trains, shorter shipping times and no transshipments at the border crossing
compared with grain shipped by ocean (U.S. Grain and Soybean Exports to Mexico: A
Modal Share Transportation Analysis, 2007-2010). Transportation accounted for 15–32
percent of the total landed cost of shipping grains for the fi rst 3 months of the year.
Higher commodity prices lowered transportation as a percentage of total landed cost
from last year.
Ocean. Ocean freight rates for shipping bulk grain from the United States to Mexico
declined during the 1st quarter 2011 from the same period a year ago. The cost
of shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain in a 25,000-tons capacity vessel was $21.71—
down 6 percent from a year ago. Costs declined for larger vessels (35–40,000-ton
capacity) almost 10 percent, from $20.75 to $18.75 per mt. Although the global
economy is improving and the U.S. economy is slowly recovering, global bulk vessel
supply is still outpacing cargo demand, moderating ocean freight rates.
percent from the same time last year. Tariff rail rates rose 6.3 percent year-over-year, refl ecting increased
railroad costs and preferred demand for direct services to major Mexican consumption and production
centers. Fuel surcharges are directly related to diesel price; they increased by 7.8 percent year-overyear.
The full impact of higher diesel prices is not refl ected during this quarter because Burlington Northern
Santa Fe (BNSF) changed its strike price from $1.25 per gallon of diesel fuel to $2.50 per gallon of diesel fuel
effective March 1. The strike price is the diesel price at which fuel surcharges begin to take effect.
Livestock
Livestock border crossing exports to Mexico are down 47.7 percent in the 1st quarter of 2011 compared to the
1st quarter of 2010, with lower exports in all categories except horses. Most of the drop can be attributed to a
fall in live sheep border crossings, which fell 84.7 percent quarter-over-quarter. This comes at a time of record
high prices for lamb and mutton, as producers are faced with a dilemma of whether to withhold stock to rebuild
herds in anticipation of sustained higher prices or reap the benefi ts immediately (LDP March 2011). The U.S.
exports only 2 percent of its sheep production with roughly 99 percent of exports going to Mexico and Canada
(FAS/GATS). Mexico has been the top importer of live U.S. sheep for several years, but steadily increasing
demand from Canada over the past fi ve years has brought its imports almost to the level of Mexico’s (FAS/
GATS). All live sheep entering Mexico must pass through the inspection station at Del Rio, TX.
Fruit and Vegetables
Despite a 17 percent drop between the 1st quarters of 2010 and 2011, tomato exports are higher than in 2007
through 2009. In addition, yearly tomato exports from Mexico have increased each year between 2007 and
2010 despite the total area planted for tomatoes decreasing year-to-year. The decrease refl ects a jump in
yields from 28 MT/ha in 2000 to an expected 39 MT/ha in 2010 (FAS/GAIN Report MX0037 2010). Tomatoes
remain the top fruit and vegetable commodity imported from Mexico by the United States, which typically
consumes 99 percent of all Mexican tomato exports (FAS/GAIN Report MX0037 2010). Fewer U.S. tomato imports
in the 1st quarter of 2011 was concurrent with a surplus in truck availability in Nogales, AZ, compared with the
1st quarter of 2010 when there was a relative truck shortage. Accordingly, truck rates at Nogales dropped from
$1.97 to $1.88 between the two quarters. In contrast, Pharr, TX, which does not handle as much tomato traffi c
as Nogales, experienced similar truck availability between the two quarters while seeing rates rise from
$1.70 to $1.97."
Table of Contents
"Grain and Soybeans
Figure 1. Average cost of shipping U.S. corn, wheat, and soybeans to Guadalajara, Mexico, by route,

January-March 2010
Table 1. Quarterly costs of transporting U.S. grain and soybeans to Guadalajara, Mexico
Table 2. Quarterly tariff rail rates for U.S. bulk grain shipments to Mexico (US$/car), 2011
Table 3. Quarterly tariff plus fuel surcharge rail rates for U.S. bulk grain shipments to Mexico, 2011
Table 4. Quarterly tariff rail rates for U.S. Distillers’ Dried Grains with Soluble (DDGS) shipments to the Mexico

border (US$/car), 2011
Table 5. Quarterly exports of U.S. Distillers’ Dried Grains with Soluble (DDGS) to Mexico
Table 6. Quarterly ocean freight rate for bulk shipments from the U.S. Gulf to Veracruz, Mexico (US$/metric ton)
Table 7. U.S. livestock exports to Mexico by border crossings*, January-March, 2011 (head)
Table 8. Quarterly U.S. livestock exports to Mexico through Texas border crossing* (head)
Table 9. Quarterly U.S. livestock exports to Mexico through New Mexico border crossing* (head)
Table 10. Quarterly U.S. livestock exports to Mexico through Arizona border crossing* (head)
Table 11. Fruit and vegetable truck rates for selected U.S.-Mexico border crossing* (US$/mile)
Table 12. Quarterly U.S.-Mexico border crossing fresh fruit and vegetables truck availability, 1st quarter, 2011
Table 13. Top ten commodities shipped to the U.S. from Mexico (10,000 lbs)
Figure 2. Monthly U.S. shipments of domestic and imported plum tomatoes, 2010
Figure 3. Monthly U.S. shipments of domestic and imported peppers, 2010
Figure 4. Monthly U.S. shipments of domestic and imported seedless watermelons, 2010
Figure 5. Monthly U.S. shipments of domestic and imported limes, 2010
Figure 6. Monthly U.S. shipments of domestic and imported cucumbers, 2010
Table 14. Top fi ve commodities shipped to the U.S. from Mexico (10,000 lbs.)
Table 15. Top ten U.S. containerized agricultural exports to Mexico*, 2010
Table 16. Top fi ve U.S. bulk agricultural exports to Mexico*, 2009-2010
Table 17. Top ten U.S. agricultural container exports to Mexico*, 2009-2010
Table 18. Top three Mexican bulk agricultural exports to the U.S.*, 2010
Table 19. Top ten Mexican agricultural container exports to the U.S.*, 2010
Table 20. U.S. agricultural container shipments to Mexico by port*, 2009-2010
Table 21. U.S. agricultural container exports to Mexico by port*, 2009-2010
Table 22. U.S. bulk agricultural exports to Mexico by receiving port*, 2009-2010
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