Mexico exported US$418.1 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2020. That dollar amount reflects an 11.8% increase since 2016 but a -9.2% downtick from 2019 to 2020.
Exports from Mexico represent 2.4% of global exports shipped from all countries during 2020. That overall amount was $17.309 trillion as estimated by the International Trade Centre as of April 2021.
Applying a continental lens, 84.5% of Mexico’s exports by value were delivered to fellow North American countries while 5.9% were sold to importers in Asia. Mexico shipped another 5.1% worth of goods to Europe.
Tinier percentages arrived in Latin America (4.2%), Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand (0.2%) and Africa (0.1%).
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 2020. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Mexican exports.
- United States: US$330.8 billion (79.1% of Mexico’s total exports)
- Canada: $11 billion (2.6%)
- China: $7.8 billion (1.9%)
- Germany: $6.5 billion (1.5%)
- Taiwan: $4.4 billion (1.1%)
- Japan: $3.5 billion (0.8%)
- South Korea: $3.4 billion (0.8%)
- Brazil: $2.9 billion (0.7%)
- United Kingdom: $2.6 billion (0.6%)
- Colombia: $2.6 billion (0.6%)
- Guatemala: $1.90 billion (0.5%)
- Netherlands: $1.89 billion (0.5%)
- France: $1.27 billion (0.3%)
- Chile: $1.25 billion (0.3%)
- Spain: $1.2 billion (0.3%)
Over nine-tenths (91.6%) of Mexican exports in 2019 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Two countries increased their purchases of goods exported from Mexico from 2019 to 2020, namely South Korea (up 53.2%) and China (up 12.3%).
Leading the decliners were Taiwan (down -33.2%), Brazil (down -31%), Colombia (down -26.8%), Canada (down -22.5%), Chile (down -21.5%) and France (down -20.7%).
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 country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Mexico incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- United States: -US$976.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2020)
- United Kingdom: -$231.6 billion
- France: -$93.3 billion
- India: -$92.5 billion
- Turkey: -$49.9 billion
- Egypt: -$33.5 billion
- Panama: -$27 billion
- Philippines: -$26.9 billion
- Pakistan: -$23.5 billion
- Hong Kong: -$21.5 billion
Among Mexico’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Mexico’s deficits with Turkey (up 69.1%), France (up 12.6%) and United States (up 5.7%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
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.
Overall Mexico posted a $34.8 billion trade surplus in 2020. That amount reflects a 543.4% increase from $5.4 billion in black ink one year earlier.
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.
Mexico posted the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- China: US$535 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2020)
- Germany: $206.2 billion
- Russia: $105.4 billion
- Ireland: $86.1 billion
- Italy: $73.3 billion
- Netherlands: $68.8 billion
- Vietnam: $67.7 billion
- Taiwan: $59.5 billion
- Australia: $52.3 billion
- Brazil: $50.4 billion
Among Mexico’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Mexico’s surpluses with Vietnam (up 506.2%), Taiwan (up 36.4%) and China (up 24.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2019 to 2020.
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 Global 2000 rankings, the following companies are examples of major 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)
See also Mexico’s Top 10 Imports, Mexico’s Top 10 Exports, Top Mexican Trade Balances and Mexico’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on May 25, 2021
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 25, 2021
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on May 25, 2021
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Mexico. Accessed on May 25, 2021
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 25, 2021
Zepol’s company summary highlights by country. Accessed on May 25, 2021