Mexico’s Top 10 Imports

Mexico's Top 10 Imports


Officially the United Mexican States, Mexico imported US$464.3 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 16.1% increase since 2014 and a 10.4% uptick from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, almost half (48.9%) of Mexico’s total imports by value in 2018 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 34.9% of Mexican import purchases while 12.4% worth originated from Europe. Smaller percentages came from Latin America (3.2%) plus the Caribbean, Africa (0.5%) then Oceania (0.2%) led by Australia and New Zealand.

Given Mexico’s population of 126 million people, its total $464.3 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $3,700 in yearly product demand from every person in the southernmost North American country.

Mexico’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Mexico’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Mexico.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$94.9 billion (20.4% of total imports)
  2. Machinery including computers: $77.5 billion (16.7%)
  3. Mineral fuels including oil: $46.3 billion (10%)
  4. Vehicles: $43.1 billion (9.3%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $25.3 billion (5.4%)
  6. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $15.3 billion (3.3%)
  7. Iron, steel: $11.6 billion (2.5%)
  8. Articles of iron or steel: $9.8 billion (2.1%)
  9. Organic chemicals: $9.6 billion (2.1%)
  10. Aluminum: $7 billion (1.5%)

Mexico’s top 10 imports accounted for almost three-quarters (73.3%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Mineral fuels including oil had the fastest-growing increase in value among Mexico’s top 10 import categories, up 30.4% from 2017 to 2018.

In second place for improving import purchases was aluminum, up 19.3%. Mexican imports of iron and steel was up 14% trailed by electrical machinery and equipment’s 10.5% appreciation.

Optical, technical and medical apparatus was the laggard, albeit that category did move ahead in value by 0.8%.

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 machinery including computers.

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$10.7 billion (up 14.3% from 2017)
  2. Computer parts, accessories: $8.1 billion (up 34.4%)
  3. Engines (diesel): $5.7 billion (up 25.1%)
  4. Piston engine parts: $4 billion (up 0.3%)
  5. Air or vacuum pumps: $3.6 billion (up 4.4%)
  6. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $3.6 billion (up 1.6%)
  7. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $3.4 billion (up 1.2%)
  8. Piston engines: $3.2 billion (up 28.3%)
  9. Miscellaneous machinery: $3.2 billion (down -5.8%)
  10. Turbo-jets: $2.7 billion (up 3.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Mexican purchases of computer parts or accessories (up 34.4%), piston engines (up 28.3%) and diesel engines (up 25.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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 electronic equipment including consumer electronics.

  1. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$19.3 billion (up 17.8% from 2017)
  2. Phone system devices including smartphones: $14.3 billion (up 6.2%)
  3. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $6.4 billion (up 6.1%)
  4. Insulated wire/cable: $5.4 billion (up 3.9%)
  5. Electric motors, generators: $4.2 billion (up 46.1%)
  6. Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches: $4 billion (up 4.8%)
  7. TV/radio/radar device parts: $3.9 billion (down -10.2%)
  8. Electrical converters/power units: $3.8 billion (up 6.5%)
  9. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $3.2 billion (down -0.4%)
  10. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $2.6 billion (down -2.3%)

Among these import subcategories, Mexican purchases of electric motors or generators (up 46.1%), integrated circuits and microassemblies (up 17.8%) then electrical converters or power units (up 6.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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 mineral fuels-related products.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$33.4 billion (up 34.5% from 2017)
  2. Petroleum gases: $10 billion (up 19.9%)
  3. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $925.9 million (up 2.6%)
  4. Petroleum oil residues: $812.1 million (up 57.4%)
  5. Coke, semi-coke: $436.6 million (up 17.5%)
  6. Electrical energy: $340.1 million (up 36.2%)
  7. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $215.1 million (down -1.3%)
  8. Crude oil: $74.9 million (up 67,967%)
  9. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $72.3 million (up 22.8%)
  10. Peat: $30.8 million (up 5.3%)

Among these import subcategories, Mexican purchases of crude oil (up 67,967%), petroleum oil residues (up 57.4%) and electrical energy (up 36.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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.


Mexican importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles.

  1. Automobile parts/accessories: US$27.4 billion (up 8.1% from 2017)
  2. Cars: $10.6 billion (down -7.8%)
  3. Trucks: $2.2 billion (up 0.6%)
  4. Trailers: $905.6 million (up 11%)
  5. Tractors: $461.2 million (up 20.5%)
  6. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $387.6 million (up 8%)
  7. Public-transport vehicles: $319.1 million (up 3.3%)
  8. Motorcycles: $303.6 million (up 7.3%)
  9. Special purpose vehicles: $139.3 million (down -5.5%)
  10. Chassis fitted with engine: $123.2 million (up 24.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Mexican purchases of chassis fitted with engine (up 24.6%), tractors (up 20.5%) and trailers (up 11%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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.


Searchable List of Mexico’s Most Valuable Import Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Mexico’s top import products are refined petroleum oils trailed by auto parts or accessories then electronic integrated circuits.

The following searchable table displays 200 of Mexico’s most in-demand imported goods during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total import value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankMexico's Import Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Processed petroleum oils$33.4 billion+34.5%
2Automobile parts/accessories$27.4 billion+8.1%
3Integrated circuits/microassemblies$19.3 billion+17.8%
4Phone system devices including smartphones$14.3 billion+6.2%
5Computers, optical readers$10.7 billion+14.3%
6Cars$10.6 billion-7.8%
7Petroleum gases$10 billion+19.9%
8Computer parts, accessories$8.1 billion+34.4%
9Lower-voltage switches, fuses$6.4 billion+6.1%
10Engines (diesel)$5.7 billion+25.1%
11Insulated wire/cable$5.4 billion+3.9%
12Miscellaneous plastic items$4.7 billion+3.8%
13Electric motors, generators$4.2 billion+46.1%
14Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$4 billion+4.8%
15Piston engine parts$4 billion+0.3%
16TV/radio/radar device parts$3.9 billion-10.2%
17Electrical converters/power units$3.8 billion+6.5%
18Air or vacuum pumps$3.6 billion+4.4%
19Taps, valves, similar appliances$3.6 billion+1.6%
20Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$3.4 billion+1.2%
21Corn$3.3 billion+15.3%
22Rubber tires (new)$3.3 billion+4.8%
23Piston engines$3.2 billion+28.3%
24Miscellaneous machinery$3.2 billion-5.8%
25Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$3.2 billion-0.4%
26Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$3.1 billion-16.8%
27Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays)$3 billion+7.3%
28Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$3 billion+9.2%
29Miscellaneous iron or steel items$2.9 billion+5.9%
30Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$2.8 billion+8.6%
31Turbo-jets$2.7 billion+3.5%
32Medication mixes in dosage$2.7 billion+7.6%
33Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$2.7 billion+14.4%
34TV receivers/monitors/projectors$2.6 billion-2.3%
35Printed circuits$2.5 billion+11.8%
36Liquid pumps and elevators$2.4 billion+5.5%
37Aluminum (unwrought)$2.3 billion+26.2%
38Unrecorded sound media$2.3 billion+18.5%
39Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$2.3 billion+11.9%
40Trucks$2.2 billion+0.6%
41Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$2.2 billion+12%
42Ethylene polymers$2.2 billion+19.1%
43Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$2.1 billion+3.4%
44Electrical machinery$2.1 billion+9.7%
45Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$2.1 billion+26%
46Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$2.1 billion+10.7%
47Flat-rolled other alloy steel products$2 billion+6.2%
48Soya beans$2 billion+15.6%
49Cyclic hydrocarbons$2 billion+11.1%
50Moulding boxes/base$2 billion+10.3%
51Propylene/olefin polymers$1.9 billion+18.6%
52Printing machinery$1.9 billion+5.1%
53Electric generating sets, converters$1.8 billion+165.7%
54Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$1.8 billion+7.7%
55Scents used for beverage or industrial manufacturing$1.8 billion+4.1%
56Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$1.8 billion+13%
57Other measuring/testing machines$1.7 billion+3.7%
58Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$1.7 billion-12.5%
59Vulcanized rubber items$1.7 billion-1.2%
60Electric ignition/start equipment$1.7 billion+1.7%
61Regulate/control instruments$1.6 billion+4%
62Interchangeable hand/machine tools$1.5 billion+25.5%
63Base metal mountings, fittings$1.5 billion+11.3%
64Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$1.5 billion+5.3%
65Rubber/plastic article making machines$1.5 billion-4.6%
66Ball, roller bearings$1.5 billion+6.1%
67Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$1.5 billion+5.5%
68Microphones/headphones/amps$1.4 billion+0.1%
69Chemical industry products/residuals$1.4 billion+9.1%
70Swine meat$1.4 billion-1.8%
71Electrical capacitators$1.3 billion+10.1%
72Blood fractions (including antisera)$1.3 billion+18.3%
73Initiators/accelerators, catalytic preps$1.3 billion+25.8%
74Self-adhesive plastic in rolls$1.3 billion+6.3%
75Air conditioners$1.3 billion+7.8%
76Electric storage batteries$1.2 billion+12.6%
77Wheat$1.2 billion+7.7%
78Paper containers, cellulose wadding$1.1 billion+3.4%
79Temperature-change machines$1.1 billion+5.5%
80Electric motor parts$1.1 billion+17.6%
81Poultry meat$1.1 billion-4.6%
82Lifting/loading machinery$1 billion+0.7%
83Metal soldering/hot-spray equipment$983.1 million+17.5%
84Styrene polymers$953.8 million+5.1%
85Parts of railway/tram locomotives, rolling stock$953.6 million+23.8%
86Copper wire$948.9 million+6.4%
87Flat-rolled stainless steel items$945 million+4.3%
88Coated paper$937.5 million+18%
89Coal, solid fuels made from coal$925.9 million+2.6%
90Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$908.2 million+8%
91Trailers$905.6 million+11%
92Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$901.8 million-6.7%
93Liquid/gas checking instruments$889.9 million+5.5%
94Refrigerators, freezers$885.9 million+0.6%
95Refined copper, unwrought alloys$877 million+24.6%
96Uncoated kraft paper$865.4 million+9.7%
97Machinery parts$855 million+8.9%
98Petroleum oil residues$812.1 million+57.4%
99Fresh or chilled beef$802.4 million+8.5%
100Other machine parts, accessories$788.1 million+13.7%
101Locks, lock-keys$786.2 million+1.8%
102Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$782.7 million+5.2%
103 Dishwashing, clean/dry/fill machines $781.4 million+1%
104Miscellaneous machine electrical parts$773.8 million+3.7%
105Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$752.6 million+17%
106Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$750.1 million+8.6%
107Nitrogenous fertilizers$750.1 million+8.5%
108Machine-tool for metal$747.9 million-15.2%
109Cases, handbags, wallets$746.6 million+18.2%
110Table games, bowling equipment$736.2 million+9.4%
111Ethers$730.8 million+3%
112Electric water heaters, hair dryers$729.7 million+13.6%
113Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$727.5 million+0.3%
114Other food preparations$717.9 million+5%
115Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$716.1 million+16.4%
116Textile fabrics with plastics$713.7 million-2.4%
117Acyclic hydrocarbons$709.5 million+16.8%
118Miscellaneous furniture$702 million+8.1%
119Lenses, prisms, mirrors$700.3 million+0.1%
120Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$691.1 million+3,656%
121Miscellaneous aluminum items$690 million+2.6%
122Acyclic alcohols$689.1 million+9.6%
123Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$687.5 million+7.8%
124Vinyl chloride polymers$673.7 million+4.4%
125Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$669.1 million-4.8%
126Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$665.2 million+15.8%
127Solid-form sugars, fructose, glucose, lactose$663.2 million-4.1%
128Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$657.8 million+7%
129Physical/chemical analysis tools$656.8 million+6.6%
130Rape/colza seeds$649.3 million-7.5%
131TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$647.3 million+20.1%
132Iron or steel scrap$642.5 million+30.9%
133Alloy steel bars, rods$637.7 million+4.5%
134Fertilizer mixes$636.5 million+24.5%
135Cellulose fiber paper$622.3 million+4.1%
136Polyamides$620.4 million+20.2%
137Radar, radio communication items$611.2 million+19.7%
138Sawn wood$605.2 million+5.3%
139Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$604.8 million+4.7%
140Hydrocarbon derivatives$598.8 million-3.7%
141Iron or steel springs, leaves$595.2 million+5.9%
142Coated/laminated non-wovens$591.9 million-0.3%
143Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes$590.9 million-1.2%
144Sports equipment$583.5 million+7.2%
145Iron or steel pipe fittings$569.7 million+13.9%
146Copper ores, concentrates$561.7 million+176.1%
147Electrical resistors$557.3 million+4%
148Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$556.4 million+11.9%
149Footwear (textile)$556.1 million+2.1%
150Telecommunication receivers$549.2 million-14.8%
151Fork-lift trucks$548.5 million+12.7%
152Saturated acyclic mono acids$546.9 million+23.7%
153Industrial preparation machinery$542.9 million+10.9%
154Glass fibers$542.1 million+6.1%
155Aluminum foil (thin)$536 million+13.9%
156T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$535.5 million+14.6%
157Gas/liquid/electricity/production meters$530.9 million+6.5%
158Acrylic polymers$522.5 million+2.5%
159Pneumatic hand tool$515.6 million+14.6%
160Cheese, curd$515.4 million-0.5%
161Other coloring matter, luminophores$514 million+5.6%
162Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$503.7 million+4%
163Other animal leather$491.5 million+0.5%
164Synthetic rubber$487.7 million+8.5%
165Prepared adhesives, glues$477.5 million+2.5%
166Paint/varnish non-aqueous solution$476 million+14.6%
167Orthopedic appliances$471.1 million+11.3%
168Uncoated paper$470.5 million+2.6%
169Sowing seeds, fruits, spores$470.3 million+13.7%
170Tractors$461.2 million+20.5%
171Metal-working machinery$460.9 million+4.1%
172Synthetic filament yarn$460.6 million+10.5%
173Jewelry$453.1 million+16.8%
174Precious metal compounds$447.2 million+47.6%
175Aluminum bars/rods$445.9 million+15.5%
176Beet-pulp, brew/distilling waste$443.5 million+10.8%
177Coke, semi-coke$436.6 million+17.5%
178Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$425.2 million+10.5%
179Fish fillets, pieces$421.6 million+9.5%
180Synthetic organic coloring$421.3 million+13%
181Magnets including electro-magnets$421.3 million+7.6%
182Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$415.7 million+4.4%
183Paper/paperboard waste, scrap$414.5 million+5.7%
184Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$406.2 million+22.8%
185Red meat offal$403.2 million-1.1%
186Embossed, perforated paper$396.9 million+8.8%
187Other organic cleaning preparations$395.4 million-1.5%
188Miscellaneous/adhesive paper$391.6 million+7.1%
189Amino-resins$390.4 million+8.6%
190Speed/distance meters$389.5 million+23.2%
191Motorcycle parts/accessories$387.6 million+8%
192Cotton (uncarded, uncombed)$387.3 million-6.4%
193Rice$386.7 million-5.2%
194Cutting-oil preparations, lubricants$384.4 million+8.2%
195Apples, pears (fresh)$382.8 million+5.4%
196Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$380.5 million+15%
197Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$379.3 million+19.9%
198Uncoated paper for writing/printing$378.3 million+7.2%
199Sort/screen/washing machinery$373.6 million-25.2%
200Carbonates, percarbonates$371.6 million+13.7%

These 200 imported goods were worth a subtotal of US$377.5 billion or more than four-fifths (81.3%) by value for all products imported into Mexico during 2018.

See also Mexico’s Top 10 Exports, Mexico’s Top Trading Partners, Top Mexican Trade Balances and Mexico’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 9, 2019

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 9, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, Accessed on March 9, 2019