Howdy folks, it's your business editor here with some spicy news from south of the border! Hold on tight to your tortillas, 'cause we've got a grainy situation to discuss. The National Agricultural Council (CNA) is waving the red flag as Russia hits the brakes on a grain export agreement. And let me tell ya, amigos, this ain't just your run-of-the-mill hiccup; it's got the potential to shake up the international markets and send grain prices in Mexico soaring!
The CNA warns that we might be in for a bit of a rough ride, but they're not shouting "Code Red" just yet. We won't be suffering from maize and wheat shortages anytime soon. You see, we've got surpluses, and we're heavily reliant on imports from the good ol' United States. So, as long as Uncle Sam keeps the cereal supply steady, we might be able to keep our tortilla fix going strong.
But hey, hold your tacos, 'cause there's a twist in this grainy tale! The CNA raises an interesting point that has the food security hawks squawking: if there are no hiccups in the supply chain up north, the whole North American food situation might just be safe and sound. Fingers crossed!
Now, let's shift gears and talk about something closer to home – our dear Mexican industries. House production has taken a bit of a tumble, folks. In the first half of the year, it dropped a whopping 9%, reaching record-low levels. The Single Housing Registry is raising the alarm, and it's clear we've got some construction conundrums to tackle.
And you know who's been struggling for a while now? Our old buddy Pemex! Six years, folks, that's how long it's been in "technical bankruptcy." Despite promises to rescue the sinking ship, Pemex is swimming in negative equity, a staggering one trillion 895 billion pesos at the end of 2022. Ouch, that's one hefty financial headache!
But hey, let's not stay in the doldrums for too long, 'cause the IMF has got some good news for us! They've upgraded Mexico's GDP forecast for 2023 from 1.8% to a more cheerful 2.6%. Hooray! It seems the services sector's making a comeback, and that's got the growth gurus nodding in approval.
Now, let's talk about lights, camera, action! Or well, not so much action for the audiovisual investment in Mexico. The actors, directors, and scriptwriters in the United States have gone on strike, and that could put a big ol' halt on our audiovisual production investments. Lights out!
And here's a puzzler for you – the cost of debt's playing tricks on us. Despite the super peso doing its superhero act, the financial cost of our external public debt has somehow increased. Who's behind this financial sorcery, we wonder?
Oh, but don't fret, 'cause the auto parts sector is zooming ahead! Thanks to nearshoring and high demand for parts due to the T-MEC's Regional Content Value, the industry's revving its engines. But they've got a concern – they fear the US might not play nice and comply with the automotive rules of origin under the T-MEC. Keep an eye on that one!
Now, remember, when it comes to tuberculosis tests in cattle, we don't steer away from the important news. Nuevo Leon's government is taking action, with more than 188 thousand bovine specimens undergoing medical tests – that's 80% of the herd! Talk about a health check on an epic scale!
And moving on to the money matters – Nuevo León received a whopping 56% of the programmed federal participation in the first half of the year. Cha-ching! Let's hope they put that moolah to good use!
Do you want some sales success? Grupo Carso's got your back! In the second quarter, their sales skyrocketed by 21.5%, hitting a cool 11,682 billion pesos. Someone's doing a victory dance, I'm sure!
Elam-FAW's got a case of wanderlust, folks. They're looking to move their Hidalgo plant to either Aguascalientes or Colima, all in the name of quadrupling their production. Let's hope they find a new home that suits their fancy!
And last but not least, Christus Muguerza is on a medical mission! The hospital chain is accelerating its investments to meet the growing demand for medical services in Mexico's industrial hotspots. The nearshoring trends made one thing clear – we need more healthcare options in the central and northern regions, as well as the Bajío area.
Before we wrap up, let's chew on this food for thought – food prices are rising more than inflation! Some basics in the food basket, like corn, beans, tortillas, and bread, are spiking with double-digit increases. Wallets, beware!
And as the icing on this news cake, the SAT (that's the tax folks) is giving a little gift – an extension until December 31, 2023, for volumetric controls in the hydrocarbons sector. There's always time for some regulatory breathing room, am I right?
That's a wrap for today! Stay tuned for more business updates.