Sunday, February 25, 2024

Mexico exports set monthly record in March — more than US $53B

Mexican exports generated revenue of more than US $53 billion in March, the highest amount ever in a single month.

Preliminary data published by the national statistics agency INEGI on Thursday showed that exports increased 3.2% annually last month to reach just under $53.56 billion.

Peñasquito mine in Zacatecas
Mining had lower numbers than other parts of the economy — for example, the automotive sector — but it saw a 15.5% spike in exports last month. (File photo)

Over 95% of that amount – just under $51 billion – came from non-oil exports including manufactured goods, which were worth $47.62 billion, a 5.3% increase from a year earlier.

Within the manufactured goods category, exports of vehicles and auto parts surged 15.6% compared to March of 2022, reaching $16.43 billion.

The value of non-auto manufacturing exports, including medical and scientific equipment and electronic devices, was $31.2 billion, a 0.6% increase compared to a year earlier.

Mexico has benefited from strong demand for manufactured goods in the United States as well as the relocation of companies that make those products for sale in that market, a growing phenomenon known as nearshoring.

Oil rig in Pacific Ocean
Oil was the only sector that saw a backward trend in exports in March. Its exports numbers declined 26%. This is partly due to the government’s policy of achieving energy self-sufficiency and exporting less. (Jaochainoi/Istock)

INEGI data showed that just over 83% of all non-oil exports went to the United States in the first three months of the year.

The value of agricultural exports – including berries, the new No. 1 earner in the category – rose 3.7% to $2.29 billion in March, while mining exports were worth $1.06 billion, a spike of 15.5%.

The only export category that went backwards in dollar terms in March compared to the same month last year was oil, which declined 27.6% to $2.58 billion. One factor that contributed to the decline is that Mexico is refining more crude at home as it seeks to achieve self sufficiency for fuel.

President López Obrador has said that exporting crude and importing gasoline is like shipping oranges abroad and buying the fruit back as juice.

The value of imports increased 1.1% to $52.39 billion in March, leaving Mexico with a monthly trade surplus of $1.17 billion. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted a $900 million deficit.

INEGI data also showed that the value of Mexico’s exports increased 6.8% in the first three months of the year to $141.08 billion. Almost 90% of that amount came from manufactured goods.

Imports increased at a slower pace – 6.5% – but at $145.88 billion still exceeded exports between January and March, leaving Mexico with a first quarter trade deficit of $4.8 billion.

With reports from El Economista and El Financiero 

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