Mexico Trade April 2018


Mexico: Merchandise trade logs surprising deficit in April

May 25, 2018

Merchandise trade recorded a USD 289 million deficit in April, swinging from a revised USD 1.7 billion (previously reported: USD 1.9 billion) surplus recorded in March as imports soared. The print fell short of market projections of a USD 500 million surplus.

Despite the trade deficit, external demand sustained momentum in April as export growth expanded 17.0% in annual terms—the fastest pace in over six years—accelerating from the revised 10.0% (previously reported: +9.4% year-on-year) rise registered in March. The pick-up was driven by double-digit growth in manufacturing exports, which expanded 14.9% in April (March: +7.5% yoy), with auto exports delivering another robust performance (April: +19.9% yoy; March: +16.8% yoy).

Meanwhile, import growth also picked up steam in April, outpacing exports at 21.4% on an annual basis, which represented an almost seven year high and was a considerable pick-up from March’s tepid 4.5% expansion. The acceleration in import growth was across the board in April. Non-oil consumer imports—a proxy for domestic private consumption—ascended at a rapid clip. Non-oil intermediate imports—which are closely linked with manufacturing activity—also shored up. Similarly, capital imports, a proxy for investment, grew at over a quarter in April.

The 12-month trailing trade deficit widened to USD 11.2 billion in April from USD 10.0 billion in March, below the USD 8.9 billion deficit recorded in April 2017.

Panelists surveyed for this month’s LatinFocus report expect exports to reach USD 436 billion in 2018, which would represent a 6.4% expansion compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, imports are expected to grow 6.3% and reach USD 447 billion. For 2019, the panel expects exports to expand 5.7% and imports to expand 5.6%.


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Mexico Trade Chart

Mexico Trade12m April 2018

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Mexico National Statistics Institute (INEGI)

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