Mexico’s Top 10 Exports

Mexico’s Top 10 Exports


In 2018, Mexico’s most valuable exported products were cars, automobile parts or accessories, computers including optical readers, crude oil, trucks, phone system devices including smartphones, TV receivers, monitors and projectors, insulated wire or cable, tractors then electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays). For more details on the 200 highest value exports, see the searchable data table near the bottom of this article.

Formally the United Mexican States, Mexico shipped US$450.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 13.6% increase since 2014 and a 10.1% uptick from 2017 to 2018.

In addition, Mexico furnished an estimated $28.6 billion worth of international services during 2018 encompassing about $22.5 billion from travel-related services.

Given Mexico’s population of 126 million people, its total $450.5 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $3,600 per resident in the southernmost North American country.

Mexico’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Mexican global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Mexico.

  1. Vehicles: US$115.5 billion (25.6% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $81.9 billion (18.2%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $75.4 billion (16.7%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $29.7 billion (6.6%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $19 billion (4.2%)
  6. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $10.6 billion (2.4%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $9.5 billion (2.1%)
  8. Vegetables: $7.2 billion (1.6%)
  9. Articles of iron or steel: $6.7 billion (1.5%)
  10. Gems, precious metals: $6.7 billion (1.5%)

Mexico’s top 10 exports accounted for four-fifths (80.4%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 31.4% in value from 2017 to 2018. The category was boosted mainly by improved sales of Mexican crude oil.

In second place for improving export sales were items made from iron or steel which rose 14.8%.

Exported machinery including computers posted Mexico’s third-fastest gain in value up 14.4% year over year, closely trailed by vehicles shipped from Mexico with its 13.5% increase.

The two declining top categories were gems and precious metals (down -2.7%) and furniture, bedding, lighting, signs and prefabricated buildings (down -0.7%).

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Mexico’s Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.


The following types of Mexican product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Vehicles: US$72.5 billion (Up by 20.6% since 2017)
  2. Vegetables: $6.7 billion (Up by 8.8%)
  3. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $6.6 billion (Down by -3.7%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $5.7 billion (Down by -5.2%)
  5. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $5.6 billion (Up by 22.4%)
  6. Fruits, nuts: $5.4 billion (Down by -4.6%)
  7. Ores, slag, ash: $4.2 billion (Up by 2.6%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $3.8 billion (Up by 61.8%)
  9. Railways, streetcars: $1.6 billion (Up by 22.7%)
  10. Cereal/milk preparations: $1.3 billion (Down by -3%)

Mexico has highly positive net exports in the international trade of cars, trucks, tractors plus automotive parts or accessories. In turn, these cashflows indicate Mexico’s strong competitive advantages under the vehicles product category.


Overall Mexico posted a -$13.4 billion trade deficit in 2018. This represents a 22.3% increase from a -$10.9 billion deficit one year earlier.

Below are exports from Mexico that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Mexico’s goods trail Mexican importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$16.6 billion (Up by 28.7% since 2017)
  2. Plastics, plastic articles: -$15.8 billion (Up by 11%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$13 billion (Up by 207.1%)
  4. Iron, steel: -$8.1 billion (Up by 5.8%)
  5. Organic chemicals: -$7.6 billion (Up by 11.1%)
  6. Aluminum: -$5.3 billion (Up by 18%)
  7. Cereals: -$4.4 billion (Up by 14.9%)
  8. Paper, paper items: -$4.3 billion (Up by 7%)
  9. Other chemical goods: -$4.2 billion (Up by 18.3%)
  10. Rubber, rubber articles: -$3.9 billion (Down by -4%)

Mexico has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for refined petroleum oils and petroleum gas.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Mexico’s competitive disadvantages in the international market for mineral fuels-related products, but also represent key opportunities for Mexico to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Mexican Export Companies

According to Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following companies are examples of leading Mexican companies:

  • ALFA (petrochemicals, auto parts, food)
  • Arca Continental (soft drinks, bottling)
  • Cemex (construction materials)
  • FEMSA (alcoholic beverages)
  • Grupo Bimbo (bakery products)
  • Grupo Mexico (metals, mining)
  • Grupo Modelo (brewery)
  • Industrias Peñoles (silver, gold, zinc, lead)

According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller companies are also examples of leading Mexican exporters:

  • Autotek Mexico (vehicles, automotive parts)
  • Manufacturera Lee De Mexico (clothing, accessories)
  • Sitwell S A DE (chairs, seats)
  • Tubos De Acero De Mexico (casing, tubing, pipes, iron/steel bridges)


Searchable List of Mexico’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Mexico during 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankMexico's Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Cars$49.4 billion+18.5%
2Automobile parts/accessories$29.7 billion+10.5%
3Computers, optical readers$29.2 billion+25.2%
4Crude oil$26.5 billion+32.9%
5Trucks$24.2 billion-1.6%
6Phone system devices including smartphones$17.5 billion-10.5%
7TV receivers/monitors/projectors$12.6 billion-4.6%
8Insulated wire/cable$12.5 billion+11.2%
9Tractors$9.9 billion+47%
10Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays)$7.7 billion+7.9%
11Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$6.5 billion-2.5%
12Refrigerators, freezers$5.1 billion+3.1%
13Malt beer$4.5 billion+19.2%
14Piston engine parts$4.5 billion+8.3%
15Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$4.4 billion+9.8%
16Gold (unwrought)$4.3 billion-2.8%
17Piston engines$4 billion+14.9%
18Air conditioners$3.9 billion+12%
19Electric motors, generators$3.7 billion+0.7%
20Lower-voltage switches, fuses$3.7 billion+5.4%
21Turbo-jets$3.5 billion+13.8%
22Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$3.1 billion-10.4%
23Electrical converters/power units$3 billion+8.1%
24Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$3 billion+17.2%
25Processed petroleum oils$2.9 billion+21.3%
26Taps, valves, similar appliances$2.7 billion+8.3%
27Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$2.7 billion+8.5%
28Air or vacuum pumps$2.7 billion+3.1%
29Railway/streetcar carrier vans, wagons$2.5 billion+18.8%
30Copper ores, concentrates$2.5 billion+33.3%
31Regulate/control instruments$2.5 billion+0.9%
32Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$2.4 billion-2.5%
33Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables$2.3 billion+3.4%
34Tomatoes$2.3 billion+18.3%
35Electrical machinery$2.2 billion+5.7%
36Liquid pumps and elevators$2.2 billion+9.7%
37Integrated circuits/microassemblies$2.1 billion-3.7%
38Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$2.1 billion+3.4%
39Miscellaneous plastic items$2 billion-0.1%
40Microphones/headphones/amps$1.9 billion-4.5%
41Engines (diesel)$1.9 billion+1.8%
42Trailers$1.9 billion+23.4%
43Electric ignition/start equipment$1.9 billion+3.3%
44Silver (unwrought)$1.8 billion-10.5%
45Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$1.7 billion+17.5%
46Telecommunication receivers$1.6 billion-4.7%
47Electric storage batteries$1.5 billion+11.2%
48Machinery parts$1.5 billion+16.2%
49Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$1.5 billion+8.5%
50Orthopedic appliances$1.4 billion+29.4%
51Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$1.3 billion-1%
52Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$1.3 billion+4.3%
53Miscellaneous iron or steel items$1.3 billion+3.3%
54Miscellaneous furniture$1.3 billion+10.8%
55Electric water heaters, hair dryers$1.3 billion+12.5%
56Miscellaneous machinery$1.2 billion+11.3%
57Locks, lock-keys$1.2 billion+3.5%
58Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$1.2 billion+10.4%
59Medication mixes in dosage$1.2 billion+17.4%
60Iron or steel tubes, pipes$1.2 billion+16.5%
61Radar, radio communication items$1.1 billion-9.7%
62Speed/distance meters$1.1 billion-2.7%
63Rubber tires (new)$1.1 billion+6.5%
64Computer parts, accessories$1.1 billion+8.8%
65Liquid/gas checking instruments$1.1 billion+8.8%
66Fresh or chilled beef$1.1 billion+8.2%
67Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$1.1 billion+19.3%
68Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$1.1 billion+125.6%
69Temperature-change machines$1.1 billion+17%
70Lead ores, concentrates$1 billion-19.8%
71Gas/liquid/electricity/production meters$995.9 million+25.4%
72Zinc ores, concentrates$942.2 million+16.5%
73Refined copper, unwrought alloys$935.1 million-3.4%
74T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$931.6 million+5.6%
75Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$918.4 million+8%
76Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$892 million+40.4%
77Vulcanized rubber items$871.3 million+22.5%
78Printing machinery$847.2 million-7.2%
79Yarn wash/clean/iron machines$830.8 million+2.9%
80Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$810.6 million+16.7%
81Miscellaneous nuts$768.5 million+25.9%
82Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$768.3 million+7.9%
83Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$768.1 million+13.6%
84Live bovine cattle$756.5 million+11%
85Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$751.1 million+21.4%
86Pneumatic hand tool$744 million-4.7%
87Base metal mountings, fittings$736.7 million-1.4%
88Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$732.7 million+33%
89Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$732.4 million-5.4%
90Iron or steel springs, leaves$713.7 million+12%
91Sugar (cane or beet)$712.8 million+7.2%
92Aircraft parts$702.8 million+9.4%
93Yachts, other pleasure/sports vessels$701.1 million+15.7%
94Styrene polymers$696 million+20.9%
95Unrecorded sound media$678 million-25.3%
96Hair preparations$631.2 million-13.3%
97Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$612.2 million-5.1%
98Copper waste, scrap$610.7 million+30%
99Fruit and vegetable juices$606.8 million-10.2%
100Razors, blades$605.9 million-12.6%
101Mechano-therapy appliances$599.1 million+9.6%
102TV/radio/radar device parts$596.3 million-3.6%
103Iron and steel stoves, barbecues$592.8 million-3.5%
104Fresh or dried citrus fruit$591.3 million+6%
105Electric motor parts$580.2 million+17.7%
106Zinc (unwrought)$573.2 million+4.4%
107Electrical capacitators$567.5 million+4.1%
108Miscellaneous preserved fruits$566.4 million+7.4%
109Precious metal ores, concentrates$555.8 million+1.9%
110Ethylene polymers$541 million-17.9%
111Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$538.4 million+8.9%
112Swine meat$536.5 million+1.7%
113Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$534.8 million-0.7%
114Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$533.7 million-2.4%
115Cucumbers$527.2 million+7.1%
116Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes$516.1 million+10%
117Other measuring/testing machines$512.6 million+8.5%
118Other organic cleaning preparations$510.1 million+1%
119Polycarboxylic acids$504.3 million-7.9%
120Crustaceans (including lobsters)$497.9 million-13%
121Ceramic sinks, washbasins$497.4 million+7.4%
122Physical/chemical analysis tools$496.3 million+12%
123Bottles, flasks, jars, pots$490.6 million+4.6%
124Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$478.3 million+14.4%
125Melons, watermelons, papayas$461.1 million+6.8%
126Frozen vegetables$459.3 million+10.6%
127Washing machines$456.2 million+1.3%
128Miscellaneous aluminum items$456.1 million+13.5%
129Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$455.3 million+6.8%
130Paper containers, cellulose wadding$453.6 million+8.4%
131Sports equipment$449.6 million+3.2%
132Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$448.6 million+21%
133Glass fibers$447.4 million+13%
134Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$442 million-0.7%
135Onions, garlic, leeks$440.5 million+6.4%
136Other coloring matter, luminophores$428.2 million+3.9%
137Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$426.6 million+11.7%
138TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$417.7 million+13.7%
139Sauces, mixed condiments, seasonings$412.7 million+22.4%
140Molybdenum ores, concentrates$406.6 million+79.9%
141Cabbages, cauliflowers, kale$406.1 million+7.2%
142Caps, lids, crown corks, stoppers$401.4 million+18.6%
143Coffee$397.7 million-8.3%
144Ball-point, felt-tipped, fountain pens$394.8 million+1.3%
145Curtains, drapes, blinds$389.5 million+11.1%
146High-voltage switches, fuses$388.5 million+10.3%
147Aluminum waste, scrap$383.5 million+23.5%
148Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$379.2 million+31.9%
149Footwear (leather)$371 million+9.2%
150Central heating radiators$358.7 million+18%
151Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$355.8 million+14.4%
152Moulding boxes/base$355.1 million+26.2%
153Jewelry$347 million+16.6%
154Vinyl chloride polymers$344.8 million-1.3%
155Iron or steel scrap$340 million+31.5%
156Oral/dental hygiene preparations$338.5 million-5.7%
157Table games, bowling equipment$330.7 million-6.9%
158Lifting/loading machinery$328.4 million+7.6%
159Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$327 million+16.9%
160Other food preparations$316.5 million-2.1%
161Ceramic wares (lab/techical uses)$313.4 million-3.4%
162Fertilizer mixes$310 million+29.6%
163Harvest/threshing machinery$304.5 million-3.8%
164Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$303.8 million+5.9%
165Ball, roller bearings$288 million-0.7%
166Corn$284.5 million-41.7%
167Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$281.6 million+25.8%
168Synthetic rubber$280.4 million+12.8%
169Plastic builders' items$280.3 million+0.6%
170Saturated acyclic mono acids$279.8 million+22.1%
171Mattresses, quilts$276.2 million+8.4%
172Dried shelled vegetables$273 million-11.4%
173X-ray equipment$272.3 million+26.4%
174Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$265.4 million+27.3%
175Cereal prepared foods$264.4 million+12%
176Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$263.4 million+18.3%
177Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)$261.1 million+17.7%
178Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$258.3 million+5.4%
179Glazed ceramic tiles, cubes$258 million-2.6%
180Bananas, plantains$256.9 million+6.3%
181Cellulose fiber paper$256 million+1.7%
182Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$254.6 million-3.7%
183Frozen fruits, nuts$245.7 million+6.2%
184Chemical industry products/residuals$245 million+3.6%
185Railway/tram locomotives, rolling stock$239.6 million+24%
186Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$237.1 million+3.7%
187Copper tubes, pipes$234.7 million+29.6%
188Lettuce$234.5 million-0.1%
189Zinc oxide/peroxide$234.5 million+10%
190Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$229.7 million+14.4%
191Miscellaneous leather items$226.8 million+120%
192Electrical energy$226.7 million+13%
193Whole fish (fresh)$225.6 million+30%
194Iron or steel pipe fittings$225.2 million+5.8%
195Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$224 million-16.4%
196Lead (unwrought)$223.8 million-5.7%
197Wheat$222.2 million+63.5%
198Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$220.3 million-0.6%
199Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$220 million+9.4%
200Concentrated/sweetened milk, cream$219.7 million+37.7%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$410.7 billion or 91.1% by value for all products exported from Mexico during 2018.

The latest available country-specific data shows that 87.7% of products exported from Mexico were bought by importers in: United States (76.5% of the global total), Canada (3.1%), China (1.6%), Germany (1.6%), Brazil (1%), Colombia (0.8%), Japan (0.7%), Netherlands (0.5%), South Korea (0.5%), United Kingdom (0.5%), Chile (0.5%) and Belgium (0.4%).

From a continental perspective, four-fifths (79.6%) of Mexican exports by value were delivered to the United States and Canada–fellow members under the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In contrast, the value of Mexican shipments to European importers was 5.9%. Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 5.1% of total Mexican exports compared to 4.3% for purchasers in Asia and much smaller percentages for Oceania and Africa.

In macroeconomic terms, Mexico’s total exported goods represent 17.5% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($2.570 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 17.5% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2018 compares to 20.7% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Mexico’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Mexico also provided $28.6 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 1.1% of GDP in PPP.

Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Mexico’s unemployment rate was 3.7% as of July 2019 up from 3.5% in July 2018, as reported by Trading Economics.

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

Research Sources:
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on September 15, 2019

Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 15, 2019

International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 15, 2019

International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on September 15, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 15, 2019

Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on September 15, 2019

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Mexico. Accessed on September 15, 2019

Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on September 15, 2019

World’s Richest Countries, Targeted research > Enriching insights > Global opportunities (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 15, 2019

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on September 15, 2019