Mexican exports hit a record high of almost US $42 billion in October, according to data published Friday by the national statistics institute Inegi.
Exports totaled $41.94 billion, a 2.9% increase compared to October 2019 and the highest monthly amount since records were first kept in 1991.
It was the second consecutive month that the value of exports rose on an annual basis after a 3.6% spike in September. Exports slumped earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially in April and May when they declined 40.9% and 56.7%, respectively.
Total exports between January and October were worth $336.19 billion, a 12.6% decline compared to the same period last year.
Petroleum exports last month were worth $1.28 billion, a 30.2% decline compared to October 2019, while non-petroleum exports were worth $40.66 billion, a 4.5% increase.
About 94% of the latter amount, or $38.33 billion, came from manufactured products including vehicles, whose export value was up 12.8% to $13.98 billion.
Agricultural exports were worth $1.45 billion in October, a 5.7% annual increase, while mining exports accounted for $873 million, a 66.4% surge.
On the other side of the ledger, imports to Mexico totaled $35.72 billion last month, 13.8% less than in October 2019. The value of imports has now declined for 15 consecutive months.
Petroleum imports were worth $2.71 billion in October, 33.4% less than in the same month last year, while non-petroleum imports were worth $33.01 billion, an 11.7% decline. Consumer goods imports declined 34.4% to $4.05 billion.
During the first 10 months of the year, imports to Mexico totaled $311 billion, an 18.8% decline compared to the same period of 2019.
The Inegi data shows that Mexico had a current account surplus of $6.22 billion in October – a record high – and $25.18 billion in the January-October period.
The surplus is partially attributable to a decline in demand for imports as consumer demand fell because millions of Mexicans lost their jobs or saw their income reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions.
GDP plummeted 18.7% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year and declined 8.6% on an annual basis in the third quarter.
The central bank is predicting a contraction of between 8.7% and 9.3% this year, which would be the worst result for the Mexican economy since the Great Depression.
Source: El Financiero (sp)