Borderlands: MexicoNewsTrucking

Mexico posts record $6.12 billion trade surplus in August

While still below year-over-year levels, trade continues to recover from large declines in May and June

Mexico registered its third consecutive monthly trade surplus in August, boosted by exports of cattle, tomatoes, vehicles and auto parts, Mexico’s National Statistics Institute (INEGI) said Monday.

The country’s $6.12 billion trade surplus was a record for the month of August, with imports totaling $30.86 billion and exports totaling $36.98 billion.

Mexico also posted trade surpluses of $5.55 billion in June and $5.79 billion in July.

While still below 2019 levels, Mexico’s trade continued to improve from large declines in April, May and June, when industries were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, both in Mexico and the U.S.

Mexican exports posted a 7.7% year-over-year (YoY) decline in August, compared to YoY decreases of 41% in April, 57% in May, 13% in June and 9% in July.

Exports of manufactured goods were down 8.3% at $33.54 billion in August, including an 11.9% drop in shipments of vehicles and auto parts. 

Automotive exports were down 79% YoY in April, 90% in May and 31% in June. Automotive exports were down only 7% YoY in July.

Mexico’s petroleum exports were down 11% from August 2019 on lower oil prices, while imports of natural gas, gasoline and diesel fell 38%.

Mexico’s total agricultural exports declined 5% in August. Exports of chickpeas posted a 48% decline, grapes and raisins were down 40.8%, avocados were down 31.7% and seafood exports fell 23.4%.

Live cattle exports increased 62.4% YoY during August, while tomato exports increased 27%. 

The only other export sector to increase was Mexico’s extractives industry — the mining of gold, copper, silver and zinc — which rose 42% during August.

Mexico’s imports of consumer goods showed a decline of 31% in August, while imports of industrial goods were down 20%.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact