Mexico’s Top 10 Exports

Mexico’s Top 10 Exports


Mexico shipped US$409.5 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017, up by 7.8% since 2013 and up by 9.5% from 2016 to 2017.

From January to September 2018, Mexico’s exported goods were valued at $333.5 billion. This 9-month metric puts Mexican exports on track for an annualized $443.2 billion estimated for all 2018 and a projected 8.2% year-over-year gain.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Mexico’s exported goods plus services represent 37.4% of total Mexican economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, 82.7% 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 5.2% of total Mexican exports compared to 5.6% for purchasers in Asia.

Given Mexico’s population of 124.6 million people, its total $409.5 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $3,300 per resident.

Mexico’s unemployment rate was 3.3% as of November 2018 — a slight deterioration from the 3.1% jobless rate as reported by Trading Economics 12 months earlier.

Mexico’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Mexican global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Mexico.

  1. Vehicles: US$101.7 billion (24.8% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $81.6 billion (19.9%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $65.9 billion (16.1%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: $22.6 billion (5.5%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $17.5 billion (4.3%)
  6. Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefab buildings: $10.7 billion (2.6%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $9 billion (2.2%)
  8. Gems, precious metals: $7 billion (1.7%)
  9. Vegetables: $6.7 billion (1.6%)
  10. Fruits, nuts: $6.6 billion (1.6%)

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.

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 24.9% in value from 2016 to 2017. The category was boosted by improved sales of Mexican crude oil.

In second place for improving export sales were fruits and nuts which rose 18.5% led by avocados, lemons, watermelons, strawberries and walnuts.

Exported vehicles posted Mexico’s third-fastest gain in value up 15.5% year over year thanks to stronger international sales of Mexican-made cars.

Posting the only decliner among the top categories was the gems and precious metals category, down -6.1% from 2016 to 2017. Gold, jewelry and diamonds posted the biggest setbacks.


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$60.1 billion (Up by 18.2% since 2016)
  2. Furniture, bedding, lighting , signs, prefab buildings: $6.8 billion (Up by 3.6%)
  3. Vegetables: $6.2 billion (Up by 0.5%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $6 billion (Down by -5.2%)
  5. Fruits, nuts: $5.6 billion (Up by 20.8%)
  6. Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $4.6 billion (Up by 33.8%)
  7. Ores, slag, ash: $4.1 billion (Up by 27.4%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $2.3 billion (Up by 32.2%)
  9. Cereal/milk preparations: $1.4 billion (Up by 27.1%)
  10. Railways, streetcars: $1.3 billion (Down by -30.7%)

Mexico has highly positive net exports in the international trade of cars, trucks and other automotive products. In turn, these cashflows indicate Mexico’s strong competitive advantages under the vehicles product category.


Overall Mexico posted a -$10.2 billion trade deficit in 2017. This represents a -17.3% decrease from a -$13.2 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. Plastics, plastic articles: -US$14.2 billion (Up by 3% since 2016)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: -$12.9 billion (Up by 85.1%)
  3. Iron, steel: -$7.7 billion (Up by 16%)
  4. Organic chemicals: -$6.8 billion (Up by 21.7%)
  5. Machinery including computers: -$5.2 billion (Down by -4.3%)
  6. Aluminum: -$4.5 billion (Up by 40.6%)
  7. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$4.2 billion (Down by -45.8%)
  8. Paper, paper items: -$4 billion (Up by 3.9%)
  9. Rubber, rubber articles: -$4 billion (Up by 11.9%)
  10. Cereals: -$3.8 billion (Up by 14.7%)

Mexico has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for plastics and products made with plastics.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Mexico’s competitive disadvantages in the international plastics market, 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, Mexico’s top export products are cars followed by automobile parts and accessories then trucks.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Mexico during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankMexican Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Cars$41.7 billion+32.7%
2Automobile parts/accessories$26.9 billion+2.7%
3Trucks$24.6 billion+5.1%
4Computers, optical readers$23.3 billion+13.3%
5Crude oil$19.9 billion+28%
6Mobile phones, other phone devices$19.6 billion+18.7%
7TV receivers/monitors/projectors$13.3 billion-0.7%
8Insulated wire/cable$11.3 billion-0.3%
9Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$7.1 billion+3.9%
10Tractors$6.7 billion+22.3%
11Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$6.6 billion+2.4%
12Refrigerators, freezers$4.9 billion+4.4%
13Gold (unwrought)$4.4 billion-9.1%
14Piston engine parts$4.1 billion+3.3%
15Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$4.1 billion+3.3%
16Malt beer$3.8 billion+33.9%
17Electric motors, generators$3.7 billion+29.7%
18Piston engines$3.5 billion-16.7%
19Lower-voltage switches, fuses$3.5 billion+5%
20Air conditioners$3.4 billion+10%
21Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$3.4 billion+34.6%
22Turbo-jets$3.1 billion+16.4%
23Electrical converters/power units$2.8 billion-1%
24Air or vacuum pumps$2.6 billion+4.2%
25Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$2.5 billion+10.9%
26Taps, valves, similar appliances$2.5 billion+4.4%
27Regulate/control instruments$2.5 billion+5.8%
28Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$2.5 billion+7.9%
29Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs$2.4 billion+6.2%
30Processed petroleum oils$2.4 billion+3%
31Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables$2.3 billion+1.7%
32Integrated circuits/microassemblies$2.2 billion+18.6%
33Railway/streetcar carrier vans, wagons$2.1 billion-19%
34Electrical machinery$2.1 billion+6.6%
35Microphones/headphones/amps$2 billion+9.6%
36Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$2 billion-0.2%
37Silver (unwrought)$2 billion+5%
38Liquid pumps and elevators$2 billion+9.5%
39Miscellaneous plastic items$2 billion+10.5%
40Tomatoes (fresh/chilled)$1.9 billion-7.7%
41Copper ores, concentrates$1.9 billion+33.3%
42Engines (diesel)$1.9 billion+22.1%
43Electric ignition/start equipment$1.8 billion+5.5%
44Telecommunication receivers$1.6 billion+5.3%
45Trailers$1.5 billion+21.8%
46Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$1.5 billion+10.7%
47Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)$1.4 billion-8.2%
48Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$1.4 billion+9.3%
49Electric storage batteries$1.3 billion+24.9%
50Lead ores, concentrates$1.3 billion+23.2%
51Machinery parts$1.3 billion+21.9%
52Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$1.3 billion+15.4%
53Radar, radio communication items$1.3 billion+5.3%
54Miscellaneous iron or steel items$1.2 billion+5.2%
55Locks, lock-keys$1.2 billion+7.8%
56Speed/distance meters$1.2 billion-1.9%
57Miscellaneous furniture$1.1 billion+5.9%
58Electric water heaters, hair dryers$1.1 billion+2.5%
59Miscellaneous machinery$1.1 billion-6.5%
60Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$1.1 billion+6.8%
61Orthopedic appliances$1.1 billion+9.4%
62Rubber tires (new)$1.1 billion+22.3%
63Computer parts, accessories$1 billion+15%
64Iron or steel tubes, pipes$1 billion+11.5%
65Liquid/gas checking instruments$1 billion+12.3%
66Medication mixes in dosage$998.3 million-19.1%
67Fresh or chilled beef$991.7 million+1%
68Refined copper, unwrought alloys$967.7 million+13.6%
69Printing machinery$913.4 million-24.5%
70Unrecorded sound media$907.1 million+32.1%
71Temperature-change machines$898 million+3.9%
72Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$893.3 million+49%
73T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$882.4 million-1.5%
74Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$850.3 million+23.6%
75Zinc ores, concentrates$808.6 million+26.5%
76Yarn wash/clean/iron machines$807.4 million+6.3%
77Gas/liquid/electricity/production meters$794.1 million+9.5%
78Pneumatic hand tool$780.8 million-0.1%
79Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$774 million+20.2%
80Base metal mountings, fittings$747.4 million+3.5%
81Hair preparations$727.6 million-10.7%
82Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$711.7 million-0.6%
83Vulcanized rubber items$711.3 million+8%
84Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$694.7 million+3.8%
85Razors, blades$693.3 million-8.4%
86Live bovine cattle$681.5 million+3.2%
87Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$676.3 million-0.4%
88Fruit and vegetable juices$675.5 million+44.2%
89Sugar (cane or beet)$664.8 million-8.2%
90Ethylene polymers$658.6 million+80.8%
91Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$645.1 million+2.6%
92Aircraft parts$642.3 million+6.7%
93Iron or steel springs, leaves$637.5 million-2.8%
94Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$635.4 million+5.2%
95Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$618.8 million+0.1%
96TV/radio/radar device parts$618.4 million-9.2%
97Iron and steel stoves, barbecues$614.3 million+14%
98Miscellaneous nuts$610.2 million-4%
99Yachts, other pleasure/sports vessels$606.1 million+11.4%
100Styrene polymers$575.8 million+4.2%
101Crustaceans (including lobsters)$572.5 million+38.8%
102Fresh or dried citrus fruit$557.7 million+14.9%
103Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$551 million+16.6%
104Zinc (unwrought)$549.2 million+54.6%
105Polycarboxylic acids$547.6 million+9.7%
106Mechano-therapy appliances$546.8 million+0.1%
107Miscellaneous articles, dress patterns$546.7 million+5.8%
108Precious metal ores, concentrates$545.7 million+5.3%
109Electrical capacitators$545.3 million-1.5%
110Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$538.7 million+2.2%
111Swine meat$527.6 million+22.1%
112Miscellaneous preserved fruits$527.3 million+19.5%
113Other organic cleaning preparations$505.2 million-0.02%
114Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$494.6 million-60.3%
115Electric motor parts$493.1 million+24.8%
116Cucumbers, gherkins$492.3 million+1.8%
117Corn$488.1 million+2.2%
118Other measuring/testing machines$472.4 million+8%
119Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$470.1 million+54.3%
120Copper waste, scrap$469.9 million+7%
121Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes$469.4 million+7.8%
122Glass bottles, jars, pots, other containers$469.2 million-7.7%
123Ceramic sinks, basins, baths$462.9 million-0.4%
124Washing machines$450.3 million-1.5%
125Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$445.2 million+6%
126Physical/chemical analysis tools$443.2 million+25.2%
127Sports equipment$435.6 million+26.6%
128Coffee$433.6 million+28.8%
129#N/A$431.7 million-15.6%
130Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$426.1 million+45.3%
131Paper containers, cellulose wadding$418.4 million+13.2%
132Spray/dispersing mechanical appliances$417.9 million+1.1%
133Frozen vegetables$415.1 million-5%
134Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots$413.9 million-6.1%
135Other coloring matter, luminophores$412.3 million+41.2%
136Miscellaneous aluminum items$401.6 million+7%
137Glass fibers$396.1 million-4.2%
138Ball-point/felt-tipped pens, markers$389.8 million+9.5%
139Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$382 million+18%
140Cabbages, cauliflowers, kale$378.9 million+6.6%
141Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$370.6 million+16.9%
142TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$367.4 million+5%
143Oral/dental hygiene preparations$359 million+9.4%
144Table games, bowling equipment$355.1 million+2.6%
145High-voltage switches, fuses$352 million+15.2%
146Curtains, drapes, blinds$350.6 million+20.4%
147Vinyl chloride polymers$349.5 million+19%
148Footwear (leather)$339.9 million-5.5%
149Stoppers, caps, lids, corks$338.5 million+6.6%
150Sauce, preparations, condiments$337.1 million+17.6%
151Ceramic wares for technical users$324.4 million+10.8%
152Other food preparations$323.4 million+15.2%
153Harvest/threshing machinery$316.6 million+1.5%
154Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$311 million+7.5%
155Aluminum waste, scrap$310.5 million+38.5%
156Dried shelled vegetables$308.3 million+59.6%
157Lifting/loading machinery$305.1 million-4.5%
158Iron/steel radiators for central heating$304 million+8%
159Jewelry$297.5 million-30.9%
160Ball, roller bearings$290 million-9.7%
161Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$287.4 million-4%
162Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$287 million-7%
163Moulding boxes/base$281.4 million-16.4%
164Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$279.8 million+13.2%
165Plastic builders' items$278.7 million-1%
166Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$267.8 million+42.3%
167Glazed ceramic tiles, cubes$265 million-11.2%
168Women's clothing (not knit or crochet)$264.3 million+3.4%
169Iron or steel scrap$258.4 million+63.1%
170Mattresses, quilts$254.9 million-4.6%
171Cellulose fiber paper$251.8 million+13.1%
172Synthetic rubber$248.5 million+30.7%
173Grapes (fresh or dried)$247.9 million+51.9%
174Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$245 million-2.4%
175Bananas, plantains$241.7 million+23.8%
176Fertilizer mixes$239.2 million+13.4%
177Lead (unwrought)$237.4 million+48.7%
178Chemical industry products/residuals$236.5 million+14.4%
179Prepared cereal foods$236.1 million-1.9%
180Lettuce$234.7 million+49.8%
181Printed matter including photos$232.2 million-4.7%
182Steamed/boiling/frozen fruits/nuts$231.3 million-14.7%
183Electromechanic domestic appliances$230.7 million-7.3%
184Saturated acyclic mono acids$229.2 million+10.6%
185Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$228.8 million+6.1%
186Molybdenum ores, concentrates$226 million+41.5%
187Brooms, brushes$224.8 million+3.2%
188Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products$223.9 million+39.2%
189Move/grade/scrape/boring machinery$222.6 million-9.2%
190Tracksuits, swimwear (not knit or crochet)$221.9 million+12.5%
191Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$221.6 million+8.8%
192X-ray equipment$215.5 million+1.6%
193Zinc oxide/peroxide$213.2 million+60.1%
194Iron or steel pipe fittings$212.8 million+45.6%
195Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods$208.5 million-1.6%
196Sulphates, peroxosulphates$207.5 million+39.8%
197Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$201.1 million-1.4%
198Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$200.8 million-6.6%
199Medical/surgical/dental furniture$200.8 million-5.5%
200Electrical energy$200.7 million+22.4%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$373.6 billion or 91.3% by value for all products exported from Mexico during 2017.

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:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 30, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 30, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on December 31, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 30, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Mexico. Accessed on July 30, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 30, 2018

Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on July 30, 2018