Mexico shipped US$380.8 billion worth of products around the globe in 2015. That figure represents roughly 2% of overall global exports estimated at $18.686 trillion.
From a continental perspective, 84% of Mexico’s total exports by value in 2015 were delivered to the United States and Canada, fellow co-signers of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
European importers purchased 5.4% of Mexican shipments while 4.3% worth arrived in Asian countries.
At just 0.2%, a much smaller portion of Mexican exports were bought by customers in Africa.
Mexico’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Mexico’s top trading partners in terms of its export sales. That is, countries that imported the most Mexican shipments by dollar value during 2015. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Mexican exports.
- United States: US$309.2 billion (81.2% of total Mexico exports)
- Canada: $10.5 billion (2.8%)
- China: $4.9 billion (1.3%)
- Brazil: $3.8 billion (1%)
- Colombia: $3.7 billion (1%)
- Germany: $3.5 billion (0.9%)
- Spain: $3.5 billion (0.9%)
- Japan: $3 billion (0.8%)
- South Korea: $2.8 billion (0.7%)
- France: $2.1 billion (0.6%)
- United Kingdom: $2 billion (0.5%)
- Chile: $1.9 billion (0.5%)
- India: $1.8 billion (0.5%)
- Netherlands: $1.8 billion (0.5%)
- Guatemala: $1.8 billion (0.5%)
Over four-fifths (93.6%) of Mexican exports in 2015 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
France led the gainers among top Mexican import countries from 2011 to 2015 with a 191.4% increase in value. France was trailed by South Korea (up 82%), Japan (up 33.7%) and the United States (up 12.5%).
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export countrydoesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2015, Mexico incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- China: -US$65.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2015)
- Japan: -$14.4 billion
- South Korea: -$11.8 billion
- Germany: -$10.5 billion
- Malaysia: -$7.3 billion
- Taiwan: -$6.4 billion
- Thailand: -$4.6 billion
- Vietnam: -$3.5 billion
- Italy: -$3.4 billion
- India: -$2.2 billion
Among Mexico’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Mexican deficits with India (up 293.2%), Vietnam (up 287.5%) and Thailand (up 67.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2011 to 2015.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Mexico’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Mexico to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2015, Mexico incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- United States: US$121.9 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2015)
- Colombia: $2.7 billion
- Guatemala: $1.4 billion
- Venezuela: $1.1 billion
- Peru: $969.3 million
- Panama: $921.9 million
- Canada: $599 million
- Dominican Republic: $598.9 million
- Belgium: $523.4 million
- Hong Kong: $513.8 million
Among Mexico’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Mexican surpluses with Hong Kong (up 378%), Belgium (up 56.5%) and Peru (up 37.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2011 to 2015.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Mexico’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Mexico to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Major Mexican Companies Servicing Trading Partners
According to Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, the following companies are examples of major Mexican companies:
- FEMSA (alcoholic beverages)
- Grupo Mexico (metals, mining)
- Grupo Modelo (brewery)
- Cemex (construction materials)
- ALFA (petrochemicals, auto parts, food)
- Grupo Bimbo (bakery products)
- Arca Continental (soft drinks, bottling)
- Industrias Peñoles (silver, gold, zinc, lead)
According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller companies are also examples of leading Mexican exporters:
- Tubos De Acero De Mexico (casing, tubing, pipes, iron/steel bridges)
- Manufacturera Lee De Mexico (clothing, accessories)
- Autotek Mexico (vehicles, automotive parts)
- Sitwell S A DE (chairs, seats)
See also Mexico Major Product Supply Advantages, Mexico’s Top 10 Imports, Highest Value Mexican Import Products and Top Mexican Trade Balances
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 4, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 4, 2016
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on March 4, 2016
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Mexico. Accessed on March 4, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on March 4, 2016
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on March 4, 2016