Jude Webber

Jude Webber joined the FT in 2007 as correspondent for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay after 15 years working for Reuters in UK, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Peru.

Montezuma’s revenge is now no longer just for tourists visiting Mexico. The nation’s pig industry has caught it, too.

The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus, or PEDv, which has ripped through hog herds in the US and hiked Chicago pork prices, has already shown up in most pork producing states in Mexico. Continue reading »

Infonavit, the Mexican agency that is Latin America’s biggest mortgage lender, is catching the Fibra fever.

Fibras are the wildly-successful real estate investment trusts that powered some of Mexico’s record equity market activity last year. Infonavit, which takes a 5 per cent payroll tax from Mexican workers which they can use for mortgages, but is expanding its remit under a new can-do chief, Alejandro Murat, wants to get in on the action. Continue reading »

A cartoon in a Mexican newspaper last week said it all: there are Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, gazing wistfully at the forbidden fruit. But it’s not an apple. It’s a lime.

Just about everything to eat in Mexico gets served with a wedge of lime, but buying them lately has been tricky. At one recent Sunday market in Mexico City, stallholders rolled their eyes when asked for what is normally the most ubiquitous of fruit. “No, too expensive,” was the answer rolled out at stall after stall. Continue reading »

Sweet news for Mexico’s sugar exporters: the government’s anti-obesity campaigns mean exports are booming.

According to data from the government’s sugar development committee, Conadesuca, exports reached nearly 866,000 tonnes between October and January. By any measure, that’s a huge leap from the previous year – the highest for that period in the previous five years was 366,000, and in the same period in 2013, it was 365,165. Continue reading »

Imagine you are a Latin American country with a dominant media group. You could a) whip out your “butcher’s knife” to chop it down to size, or b) try the more softly-softly approach of seeking to shrink its influence by expanding the market.

No prizes for identifying the former as Argentina’s favoured approach. Cristina Fernández, the president, has been hell-bent on curbing the reach and power of the arch-opposition media empire, Grupo Clarín, and its Cablevision pay-TV unit. Regulators in Buenos Aires last month passed a break-up plan. Continue reading »

This was supposed to be the year when Mexican growth got better, after last year’s dismal 1.1 per cent. Yet economists at Banamex have chopped a half-point off their 2014 forecast. What’s going on?

Let’s blame it on the weather. Literally. Here’s Banamex:

The main factor behind this revision is the effect that the exceptionally adverse weather conditions will have on activity in the US.

 Continue reading »

Never mind all that “three amigos” stuff. A potential energy pipeline from Canada to the US could help those two Nafta members, but not the other, Mexico.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline could spell bad news for Mexican oil company Pemex, which is losing its monopoly at home and is currently the third biggest crude exporter to the US. Continue reading »

Oil companies hoping that by March 21 they might have clues as to which oil and gasfields may be up for grabs in Mexico should not get their hopes up too high.

Pemex, the state company which is having its 75-year-old monopoly opened up to private competition in a historic reform, will face a new competitive environment. And that means learning to keep corporate secrets, it says. Continue reading »

Consumerism seems rife in Mexico – stores bustle with shoppers and promotions designed to lure customers and keep them hooked are legion. So it’s no surprise that retail sales rose in December, on an annual basis, more strongly than expected.

But compared with November, which was a strong month for retail sales because of the success of the annual “Good Weekend” sales spree, the picture was not so pretty. Continue reading »

One step forward, one step . . . well, if not exactly backwards, sort of sideways?

Mexican inflation data for the first fortnight of February looked a lot brighter than a month ago, when the impact of new taxes, including on fizzy drinks and junk food, pushed consumer prices to an eight-month high. Continue reading »

What happens when you put together three countries which account for nearly a quarter of the world economy, with trade exchanges worth $1tn a year? Ever greater competitiveness, prosperity and dynamism – that, at least, was the message from the leaders of the US, Canada and Mexico at their annual summit.

And Barack Obama, Stephen Harper and Enrique Peña Nieto – the “Three Amigos” – stuck relentlessly to the script, highlighting trade flows, the prospect for cooperation in security, competitiveness, greater educational and science exchanges, deeper integrated manufacturing supply chains. Continue reading »

One of Mexico’s reform plans is under attack and there are investors who want it derailed.

Don’t panic – it’s not energy, the crown jewel of the reform package pushed through by the government last year, for which a kind of steering committee of legislators and officials are busy drafting secondary legislation they hope to have ready by the end of the month.

Nor is it one of the other five big reforms passed last year: financial, tax, education, telecoms and labour reform. Continue reading »

Enrique Peña Nieto

Enrique Peña Nieto

Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s president, has another new strategy to combat crime in the volatile western state of Michoacán: throw money at it. Continue reading »

Mexican reforms have started to make themselves felt – though not in the way consumers would like.

Stoked in part by a new soda tax, a hike in VAT in border areas, and a reduction of fuel subsidies, Mexican inflation has hit an eight-month highContinue reading »

Stop press: the two sides wrangling over who should foot the bill for $1.6bn cost overruns in the building of new locks as part of the Panama Canal’s $5.2bn expansion are talking – days after a deadline set by the Spanish-led construction consortium to down tools came and went.

But neither the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) nor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the Spanish-led consortium in charge of the $3.2bn lock project, would say what they were talking about. Continue reading »