Friday, June 21, 2024

Mexico again tops the list in exports to US and sets a Q1 record

Mexico remained the top exporter to the United States in 2024’s first quarter, shipping products worth almost US $120 billion to its northern neighbor, according to U.S. government data.

The United States Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday that the U.S. spent $119.85 billion on imports from Mexico between January and March.

Doors for Audi vehicles lined up in a row in a Mexican factory
Much of Mexico’s export income comes from manufactured goods. including cars, computers and machinery, mostly made by foreign companies. These are doors being made for Audi vehicles at the company’s plant in San José Chiapa, Puebla. (Carlos Aranda/Unsplash)

The figure is 3.8% higher than the value of Mexico’s exports to the U.S. in the first three months of last year, and a record for the first quarter of any year.

Most of Mexico’s export income comes from manufactured goods including cars, computers and machinery, but it is also a significant exporter of agricultural products and oil.

Mexican exports to the United States in Q1 were worth almost $19 billion more than those of Canada, which was the second largest exporter to the U.S. in the period.

China ranked third, shipping products worth $97.62 billion to the world’s largest economy.

In 2023, Mexico surpassed China to become the top exporter of goods to the United States.

In the first quarter of this year, Mexico spent $80.16 billion on imports from the United States, a 1.2% decline compared to a year earlier. That left Mexico with a Q1 trade surplus of $39.68 billion with the U.S., a record high.

Shipping containers being lifted by a crane
The U.S.’s former longtime top exporter, China, ranked No. 3 in the U.S.’s data for 2024’s first three months. (Bernd Dittrich/Unsplash)

Two-way trade between Mexico and the United States was worth $200.01 billion between January and March, a 1.7% increased compared to the first quarter of last year.

Mexico thus remained the United States’ largest trade partner in the first quarter of the year, ahead of Canada and China.

Exports down in March 

Although Mexico’s exports to the U.S. increased 3.8% in annual terms in Q1, they declined 2.9% to $41.56 billion in March, according to the U.S. government data. It was the first time since April 2023 that Mexico’s exports to the U.S. declined on a year-over-year basis.

Mexico’s imports from the U.S. fell 8.1% in March to $26.9 billion. Mexico’s trade surplus with the U.S. was thus $14.66 billion in March.

Two-way trade was worth $68.46 billion in March, a 5% decline compared to the same month of 2023.

Other ‘need-to-know’ economic data

With reports from Reforma and El Financiero

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