Officially the United Mexican States, Mexico imported US$467.3 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects an 18.2% increase since 2015 and a 0.6% uptick from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Mexican peso depreciated by -21.6% against the US dollar since 2015 and slipped by -0.1% from 2018 to 2019. Mexico’s weaker local currency makes its imports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively more expensive when converted starting from the Mexican peso.
From a continental perspective, approaching half (46.2%) of Mexico’s total imports by value in 2019 were purchased from the United States and Canada–fellow signatories to the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trade partners in Asia accounted for 35.7% of Mexican import purchases while 11.6% worth originated from Europe.
Smaller percentages came from Latin America plus the Caribbean (2.9%), Africa (0.2%) and Oceania (also 0.2%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
Given Mexico’s population of 125.9 million people, its total $467.3 billion in 2019 imports translates to roughly $3,700 in yearly product demand from every person in the southernmost North American country.
Mexico’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Mexico’s import purchases during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Mexico.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$94.8 billion (20.3% of total imports)
- Machinery including computers: $77.3 billion (16.5%)
- Vehicles: $50.2 billion (10.7%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $40.9 billion (8.8%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $24.6 billion (5.3%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $16.5 billion (3.5%)
- Iron, steel: $10.8 billion (2.3%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $9.8 billion (2.1%)
- Organic chemicals: $8.3 billion (1.8%)
- Aluminum: $6.9 billion (1.5%)
Mexico’s top 10 imports accounted for almost three-quarters (72.8%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Vehicles posted the fastest growth in value among Mexico’s top 10 import categories, up 16.7% from 2018 to 2019. The other top categories to register increases were optical, technical and medical apparatus (up 7.9%) and articles made from iron or steel (up 0.7%).
The severest decline year over year was -13.3% for organic chemicals.
Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more detailed view of imported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Mexico’s Most Valuable Import Products further down near the bottom of this article or under the adjacent product folder tabs.
Mexican importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics.
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$21.3 billion (up 10.4% from 2018)
- Phone system devices including smartphones: $13.6 billion (down -4.5%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $6.5 billion (up 0.9%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $5.3 billion (down -1.9%)
- Electric motors, generators: $4.2 billion (down -1%)
- Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches: $4 billion (down -0.01%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $4 billion (up 3.7%)
- TV/radio/radar device parts: $3.7 billion (down -6.1%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $3.3 billion (up 3.6%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $2.8 billion (up 8%)
Among these import subcategories, Mexican purchases of integrated circuits and microassemblies (up 10.4%), TV receivers, monitors and projectors (up 8%) then electrical converters and power units (up 3.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Mexican businesses and consumers.
Mexican importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.
- Computers, optical readers: US$10.1 billion (down -5.6% from 2018)
- Computer parts, accessories: $9.4 billion (up 15.8%)
- Engines (diesel): $5.4 billion (down -4.4%)
- Piston engine parts: $3.9 billion (down -1%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $3.6 billion (up 1.4%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $3.4 billion (down -3.8%)
- Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $3.3 billion (down -0.5%)
- Piston engines: $3.1 billion (down -4.9%)
- Turbo-jets: $3.04 billion (up 10.8%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $3 billion (down -7%)
Among these import subcategories, Mexican purchases of computer parts and accessories (up 15.8%), turbo-jets (up 10.8%) then taps, valves and similar appliances (up 1.4%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Mexican businesses and consumers.
Mexican importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.
- Automobile parts/accessories: US$27.2 billion (down -0.8% from 2018)
- Cars: $9.5 billion (down -10.4%)
- Trucks: $1.7 billion (down -25.5%)
- Trailers: $952.9 million (up 5.2%)
- Tractors: $415.7 million (down -9.9%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $405 million (up 4.5%)
- Motorcycles: $333.3 million (up 9.8%)
- Special purpose vehicles: $101.1 million (down -27.4%)
- Automobile bodies: $70.3 million (down -0.3%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $52.3 million (down -6.3%)
Among these import subcategories, Mexican purchases of motorcycles (up 9.8%), trailers (up 5.2%) then motorcycle parts and accessories (up 4.5%) grew from 2018 to 2019.
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among Mexican businesses and consumers.
Mexican importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.
- Processed petroleum oils: US$29.2 billion (down -12.4% from 2018)
- Petroleum gases: $8.1 billion (down -18.7%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $678.7 million (down -16.4%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $250.8 million (down -72.9%)
- Electrical energy: $245.2 million (down -27.9%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $204.6 million (down -53.1%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $195.8 million (down -8.9%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $39.4 million (down -45.5%)
- Peat: $28.1 million (down -8.9%)
- Crude oil: $20.6 million (down -72.5%)
Among these import subcategories, the severest declines from 2018 to 2019 belong to Mexican purchases of coal including solid fuels made from coal (down -72.9%), crude oil (down -72.5%) and coke or semi-coke (down -53.1%).
These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related imports among Mexican businesses and consumers.
Searchable List of Mexico’s Most Valuable Import Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of Mexico’s most in-demand imported goods during 2019. Shown beside each product label is its total import value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2018.
|Rank||Mexico's Import Product||2019 Value (US$)||Change|
|1||Processed petroleum oils||$29,249,375,000||-12.4%|
|4||Phone system devices including smartphones||$13,630,285,000||-4.5%|
|5||Computers, optical readers||$10,129,008,000||-5.6%|
|7||Computer parts, accessories||$9,400,646,000||+15.8%|
|9||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$6,508,842,000||+0.9%|
|12||Miscellaneous plastic items||$4,884,392,000||+3%|
|13||Electric motors, generators||$4,203,302,000||-1%|
|14||Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches||$4,012,878,000||-0%|
|15||Electrical converters/power units||$3,992,275,000||+3.7%|
|16||Piston engine parts||$3,915,149,000||-1%|
|17||Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools||$3,764,262,000||+22.9%|
|18||TV/radio/radar device parts||$3,710,363,000||-6.1%|
|19||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$3,602,574,000||+1.4%|
|20||Air or vacuum pumps||$3,436,157,000||-3.8%|
|21||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$3,348,262,000||-0.5%|
|22||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$3,339,222,000||+9.8%|
|23||Solar power diodes/semi-conductors||$3,262,847,000||+3.6%|
|24||Rubber tires (new)||$3,126,877,000||-4.7%|
|28||Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers||$3,024,594,000||+1.1%|
|30||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$2,963,749,000||+5%|
|31||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$2,957,402,000||+1.4%|
|32||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$2,845,070,000||+5.5%|
|34||Medication mixes in dosage||$2,635,011,000||-3.6%|
|36||Liquid pumps and elevators||$2,382,271,000||-1.9%|
|37||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$2,249,444,000||+2.3%|
|38||Aluminum plates, sheets, strips||$2,233,345,000||+8.2%|
|40||Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels||$2,075,508,000||+0.9%|
|42||Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)||$2,040,141,000||-4.3%|
|43||Flat-rolled other alloy steel products||$2,031,351,000||-0.2%|
|44||Unrecorded sound media||$1,859,080,000||-19.2%|
|47||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$1,802,117,000||-1.5%|
|48||Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing||$1,798,243,000||+0.1%|
|51||Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters||$1,707,240,000||-3%|
|52||Vulcanized rubber items||$1,667,264,000||-1.6%|
|55||Electric ignition/start equipment||$1,646,783,000||-0.2%|
|56||Initiators/accelerators, catalytic preps||$1,600,971,000||+25.7%|
|58||Other measuring/testing machines||$1,536,193,000||-11%|
|62||Base metal mountings, fittings||$1,471,611,000||-1%|
|64||Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$1,438,978,000||-1.2%|
|65||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$1,434,543,000||-16.2%|
|66||Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings||$1,422,546,000||-3.9%|
|67||Ball, roller bearings||$1,391,061,000||-4.8%|
|68||Chemical industry products/residuals||$1,345,527,000||-4.6%|
|69||Electric storage batteries||$1,312,421,000||+5.1%|
|70||Self-adhesive plastic in rolls||$1,261,169,000||-0.9%|
|71||Blood fractions (including antisera)||$1,257,808,000||-5.2%|
|73||Interchangeable hand/machine tools||$1,220,428,000||-19.5%|
|74||Rubber/plastic article making machines||$1,218,707,000||-16.7%|
|76||Paper containers, cellulose wadding||$1,160,939,000||+3.6%|
|77||Electric motor parts||$1,003,785,000||-5.8%|
|79||Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys||$965,388,000||+6.3%|
|83||Parts of railway/tramway locomotives or rolling stock||$912,278,000||-4.3%|
|85||Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances||$887,242,000||-1.6%|
|86||Liquid/gas checking instruments||$879,106,000||-1.2%|
|88||Metal soldering/hot-spray equipment||$843,351,000||-14.2%|
|89||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$835,877,000||-4.7%|
|93||Uncoated kraft paper||$804,708,000||-7%|
|94||Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream||$798,490,000||+9.8%|
|95||Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms||$774,913,000||+12.7%|
|96||Fresh or chilled beef||$770,481,000||-4%|
|98||Cases, handbags, wallets||$754,378,000||+1%|
|99||Electric generating sets, converters||$740,468,000||-59.7%|
|100||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$739,428,000||+1.3%|
These 100 imported goods were worth a subtotal of US$309.8 billion or about three-quarters (66.3%) by value for all products imported into Mexico during 2019.
See also Mexico’s Top 10 Exports, Mexico’s Top Trading Partners, Top Mexican Trade Balances and Mexico’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on April 16, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 16, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 16, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 16, 2020