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Mexico Trade December 2023

Mexico: Merchandise exports decline marginally in December

Merchandise exports fell 0.1% over the same month last year in December (November: +2.0% year-on-year). A notable fall in oil exports was broadly offset by double-digit vehicle export growth. Over 2023 as a whole, exports rose 2.6% in annual terms, buoyed by stronger sales to the U.S.—particularly of vehicles. Meanwhile, merchandise imports decreased 6.9% over the same month last year in December (November: +0.4% yoy), marking the weakest reading since July 2023.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 4.2 billion surplus in December (November 2023: USD 0.6 billion surplus; December 2022: USD 1.0 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 5.5 billion deficit in December, compared to the USD 8.7 billion deficit in November.

Our forecast is for both exports and imports to rise year on year in 2024, with import growth set to outpace export growth.

On the outlook for this year, Itaú Unibanco analysts said:

“We expect the trade deficit to widen in 2024 to USD 17 billion (from a deficit of USD 5.5 billion in 2023). Our forecast assumes manufacturing exports remain soft, dragged by a slower external demand, while non-energy consumption and investment imports are likely to be resilient driven by a favorable evolution of the internal demand which is supported by an expansionary fiscal stance.”

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