Gloomy election outlook for Mexico

Approximately three months remain before Mexicans go to the polls to elect a new president, and we are getting the impression that pundits and regular Josés alike are starting to get used to the idea that Andrés Manuel López Obrador might actually be elected this time.  We ourselves are laboring to come to grips with this potential outcome, in a process not unlike the seven stages of grief, although we’re still mostly stuck at stage four, depression.  We’re still struggling to accept that Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, and now on top of that the prospect of our own populist nationalist zealot taking over…maybe this helps explain why mezcal sales are skyrocketing. Continue reading Gloomy election outlook for Mexico

Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Information collected from media reports over the last month:

  • Greenhouse agriculture: Mexican agricultural producer Hortigen Produce reported plans to invest approximately US$80 million in greenhouse operations in the central state of Querétaro over the next four years. Projects include the addition of 97 hectares (240 acres) of pepper production utilizing hydroponic techniques. (El Economista, February 28, 2018)
  • Mining: Mexican mining firm Fresnillo, a subsidiary of Industrias Peñoles, plans investment of US$755 million during the current year, the company reported. Resources will support operations in silver extraction, zinc refining, and dynamic leaching and pyrites plants. (El Financiero, February 28, 2018)
  • Beverage: Netherlands-based beer brewer Heineken inaugurated its most efficient plant worldwide in the northern state of Chihuahua, the company reported. The US$500 million site makes use of latest technologies in areas such as water efficiency, energy conservation and recycling of raw material byproducts. (Reforma, February 28, 2018)
  • Retail: Mexican grocery and general merchandise retailer Soriana plans investment of approximately US$160 million this year to convert stores from its Commercial Mexicana format to its Soriana and Mega formats. Soriana purchased 143 Commercial Mexicana stores from Controladora Commercial Mexicana in 2016. (El Financiero, February 27, 2018)
  • Electricity: Spanish energy infrastructure developer Iberdrola reported plans to invest US$1.7 billion in new electricity generation projects through 2022. New plants are likely to include natural gas powered combined cycle generation as well as renewable energy such as solar or wind. (El Financiero, February 22, 2018) Continue reading Recent and upcoming investment in Mexico

Mexico-Europe FTA sparks cheesy wrangle

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is getting all the headlines these days, but under the radar, Mexico is also renegotiating its Free Trade Agreement (TLCUEM) with the European Union (EU) at the same time.   Negotiators for Mexico and the EU recently concluded the ninth round of talks, and while progress overall seems to be satisfactory, a cheesy conundrum has hove to the fore.  The EU seeks to reserve denomination of origin rights to the names of numerous cheeses, but Mexico is balking hard at some of the items on the list.  The case of Manchego cheese is among the top sticking points.  Manchego cheese, named after its region of origin in Spain, is a beloved Spanish artisanal sheep’s milk product.  Mexico, however, produces large quantities of a decidedly un-gourmet cow’s milk cheese labeled as Manchego.  If the EU were to have its way, Mexican producers would no longer be permitted to use the Manchego name on their cheese products. Continue reading Mexico-Europe FTA sparks cheesy wrangle