Mexico: External trade affected by the Japanese disaster
June 9, 2011
The trade balance remained positive for the fourth month in a row, recording a surplus of USD 767 million in April (March: USD 1.5 billion surplus) according to revised figures released by the statistics institute (INEGI) on 9 June. The reading was below market expectations that had the balance pushing towards a surplus of USD 920 million. The print was the result of a deceleration of both imports and exports, amid disruptions to the supply chain associated with the Japanese disaster along with high energy prices, which are also affecting industrial activity in the United States. In this vein, exports slowed to a 12.6% increase over the same month last year (March: +20.1% year-on-year) to reach a total of USD 28.0 billion. The reading was bolstered by robust oil exports, while non-oil exports slowed more markedly. Imports followed suit and decelerated markedly, moderating from a 16.3% expansion in March to a 9.8% increase in April. The deceleration mostly reflected lower imports of intermediate goods, whereas imports of consumption goods remained strong, suggesting that the incipient domestic recovery continues to slowly gather momentum.