Reopened Mexican market could be worth $250M to Canadian beef producers, industry rep says

Mexico could eventually be worth at least a quarter-billion dollars to Canada's beef industry, but producers need to develop confidence in the newly reopened market to take advantage of the demand, says John Masswohl of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

But John Masswohl says Canadian beef producers need to rebuild confidence to take advantage of demand

Mexico will re-open its borders to Canadian beef at the end of October, after reaching a deal earlier this year to end a BSE-related ban imposed in 2003. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Mexico could eventually be worth at least a quarter-billion dollars annually to Canada's beef industry, but producers will need to develop confidence in the reopened market to take advantage of the demand, says John Masswohl of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in June that Mexico had agreed to end its 13-year ban of Canadian beef, during a two-day state visit to Canada by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The ban, imposed in 2003 over fears of mad cow disease, is set to be lifted at the end of October.

But that won't translate immediately into a rush of exports to Mexico, Masswhol said.

"The problem today is we don't have the same number of cattle," he said.

"The herd size has been reduced because of a lot of these market closures, because a lot of farmers switched from cattle maybe to growing a crop, putting in canola instead of cattle."

But Masswhol said Mexico could, in time, develop into one of Canada's best export markets for over-30-month cattle and beef.