Mexico: Merchandise exports increase in March
Merchandise exports shot up 20.9% year-on-year in March (February: +27.8% year-on-year), driven by a nearly 68% rise in oil exports as prices for the commodity surged. Among non-oil goods, vehicle exports increased by double digits, potentially a sign that chip shortages which blighted the automotive industry last year are easing. Meanwhile, merchandise imports rose 12.7% in annual terms in March (February: +34.2% yoy), marking the weakest reading since February 2021.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 0.2 billion surplus in March (February 2022: USD 1.3 billion surplus; March 2021: USD 3.0 billion deficit). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 14.8 billion deficit in March, compared to the USD 17.9 billion deficit in February.
Panelists surveyed for this month’s LatinFocus report project merchandise exports to rise 5.6% in 2022 and merchandise imports to grow 6.0%, pushing the trade balance to USD -13.8 billion. For 2023, our panel sees merchandise exports increasing 4.6% and merchandise imports rising 4.7%, with a trade balance of USD -15.4 billion.