Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Mexican exports reach record high of nearly US $500B this year

Mexico is on track to record its best year ever for exports after the value of shipments sent abroad in October increased 5.6% compared to the same month of 2022.

Mexican exports were worth US $51.97 billion in October, the national statistics agency INEGI reported Monday, lifting the cumulative total for 2023 to $493.51 billion.

The figure for the first 10 months of the year is a record high and an improvement of 3% compared to the same period of 2022.

Auto sector drives export growth in October

INEGI data shows that oil exports increased 14.1% annually in October to $3.19 billion, while non-oil exports rose 5.1% to $48.77 billion. The latter contributed to around 94% of Mexico’s export total last month.

Manufacturing exports increased 5.3% in October to $46.37 billion, equivalent to 89% of the total and 95% of the non-oil total.

Automotive factory worker in Mexico
Revenue from automotive exports increased to US $17.66 billion in October. (Gob MX)

Within that category, auto exports surged 20.9% to $17.66 billion while non-auto exports fell 2.5% to $28.7 billion.

Gabriela Siller, director of economic analysis at Banco Base, said that the auto sector export growth could have been higher if auto workers in the U.S. hadn’t gone on strike between mid September and late October.

“It was a good month, but it could have been better,” she said.

Agricultural exports spiked 12.3% to $1.71 billion in October, while mining exports decreased 15.1% to $698.8 million.

Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas
Mining exports from Mexico declined in October (above is the Peñasquito gold mine in Zacatecas). (ADOLFO VLADIMIR /CUARTOSCURO.COM)

INEGI noted that avocado exports were up 37.6% compared to October 2022, while shipments of citrus fruits and tomatoes increased 32.4% and 20.9%, respectively.

In contrast, exports of raw coffee beans and frozen shrimp both declined by over 60% on an annual basis.

A good year for Mexico’s automotive industry 

Non-oil exports contributed to 94% of the $493.51 billion in export revenue in the first 10 months of the year. They increased 4.5% to $465.33 billion, while oil exports declined 16.3% to $28.17 billion.

Manufacturing exports increased 4.5% to reach $439.44 billion. Auto exports also drove the export growth recorded between January and October, increasing 15.2% to $156.61 billion. Non-auto manufacturing exports fell 0.6% to $282.83 billion.

Mexico’s agricultural exports increased 4.3% to $18.08 billion, while mining exports rose by the same percentage to reach $7.8 billion.

Most Mexican exports go to the US

INEGI data shows that just over 83% of Mexico’s export income is derived from shipments sent to the United States. Just under 17% comes from exports sent to the rest of the world, including Canada, China, Germany and South Korea.

Imports up in October, but down so far this year

The value of imports to Mexico rose 1.8% annually in October to $52.22 billion. The import of intermediate goods – inputs used in the production of other goods – contributed to about three-quarters of that amount, while consumer goods accounted for around 15%.

The value of imports between January and October was $503.84 billion, a 0.6% decline compared to the same period of 2022. The contributions of intermediate goods and consumer goods to the total was very similar to that seen in October.

Fuel imports declined 29.3% to $45.57 billion in the first 10 months of the year, allowing Mexico to record a slight decrease in its overall spending on foreign goods. President López Obrador is aiming to make Mexico self-sufficient for fuel, but the data shows there is still some way to go.

Dos Bocas refinery in Tabasco
Mexico’s oil imports declined 29.3% this year. President López Obrador’s administration has prioritized reducing Mexico’s dependence on fuel imports, with projects like the Dos Bocas refinery in Tabasco. (Gob MX)

Non-oil imports – made more accessible to Mexican consumers due to the appreciation of the peso this year – increased 3.6% between January and October.

A declining trade deficit

Mexico recorded a trade deficit of $10.33 billion between January and October, a reduction of 62.7% compared to that recorded for the same period of 2022.

The deficit in October was $252.5 million, a drop of 87.9% compared to a year earlier.

Mexico News Daily 

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