Mexico City – Mexico faced a trade deficit of $1.48 billion in September as exports of factory-made goods experienced a decline for the first time since April. However, imports of consumer goods and machinery remained robust, indicating a mixed performance for the country’s trade sector.
According to the National Statistics Institute, exports fell by 5.1% compared to the same month last year, reaching a total value of $49.66 billion. Meanwhile, imports also experienced a decrease of 3.9%, amounting to $51.14 billion.
The decline in exports of manufactured goods was particularly significant, with machinery, industrial equipment, and steel products registering the sharpest decreases. On the other hand, auto exports, including vehicles and parts, witnessed a modest increase of 3.7%.
The petroleum sector, however, showed positive growth, with exports increasing by 5% to reach $3.45 billion. This boost was mainly driven by higher volumes of crude oil shipments. In contrast, petroleum imports, including gasoline and natural gas, saw a decline of 31.7% compared to September 2022, reaching $4.69 billion.
Non-oil consumer goods imports, supported by a strong Mexican peso, experienced a significant increase of 24.7% to reach $6.49 billion. On the other hand, imports of intermediate goods used in production chains decreased by 5.5% to $34.97 billion (excluding petroleum). However, the imports of machinery and equipment continued to grow, registering an increase of 19.6% and totaling $4.99 billion.
With the trade deficit in September, the cumulative deficit for the first three quarters of the year reached $10.08 billion. The petroleum deficit accounted for $16.63 billion of this total, partially offset by a nonpetroleum trade surplus of $6.55 billion.
It is evident that Mexico’s trade sector is facing unique challenges, with a mix of declining exports and stable imports. However, the positive growth in the petroleum sector and the continued demand for non-oil consumer goods highlight areas of resilience for the Mexican economy.