That dollar amount results from a 28.2% increase since 2018 when total Mexican exports were $450.9 billion.
Year over year, the overall value of Mexico’s exports accelerated by 16.9% compared to $494.6 billion in 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Mexican peso depreciated by -4.6% against the US dollar since 2018 but gained 0.7% from 2021 to 2022. Mexico’s weaker local currency compared to 2018 makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Mexico is a world leader for exporting trucks and ranks among the top countries for global sales of computers, cars and automotive parts or accessories.
Mexico’s Major Trading Partners
The latest available country-specific data shows that 89.6% of products exported from Mexico were bought by importers in: the United States of America (78.3% of Mexico’s global total), Canada (2.7%), mainland China (1.9%), Germany (1.4%), Taiwan (1.3%), Japan (0.75%), Brazil (0.74%), South Korea (0.64%), Colombia (0.62%), Guatemala (0.52%), United Kingdom (0.5%) and Netherlands (0.4%).
From a continental perspective, 84.9% of Mexico’s exports by value was delivered to fellow North American countries while 5.7% was sold to importers in Asia. Mexico shipped another 4.7% worth of goods to Europe, with 4.4% going to Latin America.
Tinier percentages were bought by customers in Oceania’s Australia and New Zealand (0.2%), then Africa (0.1%).
Given Mexico’s population of 130.1 million people, its total $578.3 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $4,400 per resident in the southernmost North American country. That dollar metric exceeds the average $3,800 for 2021.
Mexico’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Mexican global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Mexico.
- Vehicles: US$136.1 billion (23.5% of total exports)
- Machinery including computers: $103 billion (17.8%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $97.3 billion (16.8%)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $37.8 billion (6.5%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $22.8 billion (3.9%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $13.1 billion (2.3%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $12.8 billion (2.2%)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $11.6 billion (2%)
- Articles of iron or steel: $107 billion (1.7%)
- Fruits, nuts: $9.22 billion (1.6%)
Mexico’s top 10 exports generated over three-quarters (78.5%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 37.2% from 2021 to 2022.
In second place for improving export sales were articles made from iron or steel, bolstered via a 24.8% advance.
Mexico’s shipments of machinery including computers posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 20.8%.
The most modest gainer among Mexico’s top 10 export categories was optical, technical and medical apparatus, thanks to its 10.6% year-over-year increase.
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 this article.
Products Generating Highest Trade Surpluses for Mexico
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.
- Vehicles: US$87.8 billion (Up by 15.7% since 2021)
- Beverages, spirits, vinegar: $10.4 billion (Up by 15.5%)
- Machinery including computers: $8.8 billion (Up by 43.2%)
- Vegetables: $8.4 billion (Up by 6.2%)
- Furniture, bedding, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings: $8.2 billion (Up by 16.5%)
- Fruits, nuts: $7.7 billion (Up by 12.1%)
- Gems, precious metals: $6.9 billion (Down by -15.6%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $6.2 billion (Down by -4.5%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $4.1 billion (Reversing a -$7.4 million deficit)
- Railways, streetcars: $2.8 billion (Up by 130%)
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.
Products Causing Greatest Trade Deficits for Mexico
Mexico recorded an overall -$26.3 billion trade deficit in 2022. The Mexican amount of red ink swelled by 120% from the -$12 billion trade deficit one year earlier in 2021.
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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$25.1 billion (Up by 62.1% since 2021)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$20 billion (Up by 42.2%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$19.6 billion (Up by 6.8%)
- Iron, steel: -$13.8 billion (Up by 19.3%)
- Organic chemicals: -$11 billion (Up by 26.8%)
- Aluminum: -$8.5 billion (Up by 32.6%)
- Cereals: -$8.3 billion (Up by 15.5%)
- Other chemical goods: -$7.5 billion (Up by 17.2%)
- Oil seeds: -$6 billion (Up by 19.8%)
- Paper, paper items: -$5.3 billion (Up by 21.6%)
Mexico has highly negative net exports under the mineral fuels including oil product category.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Mexico’s competitive disadvantages in the international market for mineral fuels-related products, but also represent key opportunities for Mexico to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Major Mexican Export Companies
According to Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the following companies are examples of leading Mexican companies.
- ALFA (petrochemicals, auto parts, food)
- Arca Continental (soft drinks, bottling)
- Cemex (construction materials)
- FEMSA (alcoholic beverages)
- Grupo Bimbo (bakery products)
- Grupo Mexico (metals, mining)
- Grupo Modelo (brewery)
- Industrias Peñoles (silver, gold, zinc, lead)
According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following smaller companies are also examples of leading Mexican exporters.
- Autotek Mexico (vehicles, automotive parts)
- Manufacturera Lee De Mexico (clothing, accessories)
- Sitwell S A DE (chairs, seats)
- Tubos De Acero De Mexico (casing, tubing, pipes, iron/steel bridges)
Searchable List of Mexico’s Most Valuable Export Products
At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, the following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Mexico during 2022. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2021.
|Rank||Mexico's Export Product||2022 Value (US$)||Change|
|2||Computers, optical readers||$42,997,126,000||+29%|
|8||Phone system devices||$13,302,021,000||+12.4%|
|10||Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)||$10,401,152,000||+12.5%|
|11||Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)||$7,305,940,000||+18.5%|
|13||Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels||$6,658,262,000||+26.6%|
|15||Processed petroleum oils||$5,659,237,000||+77.8%|
|17||Piston engine parts||$5,326,295,000||+16.7%|
|18||Lower-voltage switches, fuses||$5,006,684,000||+20.7%|
|19||Electrical converters/power units||$4,976,513,000||+37.8%|
|20||Electric motors, generators||$4,622,756,000||+16.9%|
|22||Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)||$4,224,983,000||+28.7%|
|24||Centrifuges, filters and purifiers||$4,074,980,000||+12.6%|
|25||Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters||$3,899,179,000||+21.1%|
|27||Air or vacuum pumps||$3,702,878,000||+21.9%|
|29||Copper ores, concentrates||$3,137,588,000||-8.3%|
|31||Taps, valves, similar appliances||$3,022,111,000||+9.6%|
|32||Plastic packing goods, lids, caps||$2,987,195,000||+15.2%|
|34||Miscellaneous fresh/chilled vegetables||$2,816,612,000||-3.5%|
|37||Miscellaneous plastic items||$2,620,951,000||+16.1%|
|38||Liquid pumps and elevators||$2,532,269,000||+10.2%|
|41||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$2,313,356,000||+26.8%|
|43||Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs||$2,199,639,000||+1.2%|
|44||Electric storage batteries||$2,174,136,000||+13.9%|
|45||Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches||$2,081,435,000||+16.1%|
|46||Miscellaneous iron or steel items||$1,989,011,000||+25.1%|
|48||Electric water heaters, hair dryers||$1,978,309,000||+16.1%|
|49||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$1,957,136,000||+35.4%|
|50||Computer parts, accessories||$1,940,716,000||+11.2%|
|53||Rubber tires (new)||$1,835,444,000||+15.7%|
|55||Fresh or chilled beef||$1,793,967,000||-2%|
|56||Electric ignition/start equipment||$1,763,112,000||+5%|
|57||Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)||$1,719,942,000||+7.7%|
|61||Pneumatic hand tool||$1,368,451,000||-5.2%|
|62||Men's suits, trousers (not knit or crochet)||$1,313,466,000||+14.3%|
|63||Medication mixes in dosage||$1,283,200,000||+22.7%|
|64||Transmission shafts, gears, clutches||$1,264,610,000||+9.6%|
|66||Electric motor parts||$1,183,813,000||+15.2%|
|67||Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips||$1,170,779,000||+18.1%|
|68||T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)||$1,162,326,000||+7.8%|
|69||Liquid/gas checking instruments||$1,124,177,000||+13.1%|
|70||Yarn wash/clean/iron machines||$1,103,085,000||+2.3%|
|72||Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)||$1,038,991,000||+24.4%|
|74||Vulcanized rubber items||$994,760,000||+14%|
|76||Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)||$974,020,000||+26.1%|
|77||Base metal mountings, fittings||$953,980,000||+15.3%|
|78||Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings||$934,411,000||+19.8%|
|79||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$932,440,000||-1.9%|
|81||Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms||$894,046,000||+17.5%|
|82||Iron or steel tubes, pipes||$884,619,000||+27.2%|
|84||Unrecorded sound media||$865,390,000||+10.5%|
|85||Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys||$864,062,000||+1.2%|
|86||Fresh or dried citrus fruit||$862,878,000||+16.2%|
|88||Copper waste, scrap||$851,654,000||-1.4%|
|89||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$841,334,000||-11.7%|
|91||Other organic cleaning preparations||$826,324,000||+14.9%|
|92||Radar, radio communication items||$825,372,000||+4.2%|
|93||Sugar (cane or beet)||$825,295,000||+35%|
|94||Miscellaneous preserved fruits||$811,780,000||+20.6%|
|95||Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes||$806,338,000||+27.7%|
|96||Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$790,958,000||+51.3%|
|97||Physical/chemical analysis tools||$786,919,000||+15.9%|
|98||Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes||$769,410,000||+45.1%|
|99||Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants||$753,926,000||+16.1%|
|100||Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates||$749,521,000||+14.4%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$386.8 billion or 78.2% by value for all products exported from Mexico during 2022.
Fastest-growing Mexican exported products are headlined by: processed petroleum oils (up 77.8% from 2021 to 2022), trailers (up 56.4%), products made from hot-rolled iron or non-allay steel (up 51.3%), miscellaneous iron or steel tubes and pipes (up 45.1%), sports equipment (up 44.7%), and tractors (up 41.5%).
In macroeconomic terms, Mexico’s total exported goods represent 25.2% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($2.296 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 25.2% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2022 compares to 18.5% for 2021. Those percentages suggest a relatively increasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Mexico’s total economic performance, albeit based on a short timeline.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Mexico’s unemployment rate averaged 3.272% for 2022, down from an average 4.142% in 2021 as reported by the International Monetary Fund.
See also Mexico’s Top 10 Imports, Mexico’s Top Trading Partners, Mexico’s Top 10 Major Export Companies and United States Top 10 Exports
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Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 20, 2023
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International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 20, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on May 20, 2023
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Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on May 20, 2023
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on May 20, 2023