flag Mexico Mexico: Trade Profile

In this page: Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

Mexico is highly dependent on foreign trade, which represented 78% of its GDP in 2020 (World Bank, latest available data). The country mainly exports cars (11.1%), computers (6.7%), vehicle parts (6.5%), delivery trucks (5.5%), and crude petroleum (5.5%). As for imports, Mexico’s main purchases include integrated circuits (6.8%), refined petroleum (6.7%), vehicle parts (6.3%), office machine parts (3.8%), and cars (2.2%). According to IMF Foreign Trade Forecasts, the volume of exports of goods and services increased by 7.7% in 2021 and is expected to reach 5.6% in 2022, while the volume of imports of goods and services increased by 17.3% in 2021 and is expected to increase by 7.3% in 2022.

Mexico is heavily dependent on the commercial relations with its main trading partner – the United States – which account for more than three-quarters of the country’s exports. Other destinations for Mexican exports include the EU (6.7%) and Canada (4.4%). As per imports, the main origins include the US (54.4%), China (14.4%), the EU (11.3%) and Japan (2.9%). Mexico has signed a dozen free-trade agreements with about forty different countries of the world. Other trade advantages of Mexico include the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (which replaced NAFTA in 2020), its free-trade agreement with the European Union since 2000, a trade agreement with Japan since 2005 and the 2012 foundation of the Pacific Alliance along with Colombia, Chile and Peru.

Although Mexico's trade balance is structurally negative, the country has been seeing a trade surplus in recent years. In 2020, exports of goods and services decreased by 7.3%, reaching USD 434.4 billion; while imports decreased by 14.8%, reaching USD 418.2 billion - taking trade balance to a surplus of USD 34.4 billion. That was largely due to the continued strength of the automotive industry - both motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts - and the impact on U.S.- China trade war, which increased Mexican exports to the United States.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 397,516432,179476,546467,342393,248
Exports of Goods (million USD) 373,930409,433450,713460,704417,670
Imports of Services (million USD) 31,92636,77537,43537,01825,043
Exports of Services (million USD) 24,09727,01228,57931,33616,803

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 76.177.180.677.978.0
Trade Balance (million USD) -13,070-10,984-13,7675,21434,445
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -22,031-20,743-24,956-3,05924,274
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.96.46.4-0.7-14.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 3.64.26.01.5-7.3
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 39.039.541.339.137.9
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 37.037.739.338.840.1

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

 
Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 6.9-0.51.92.83.0
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 5.40.52.02.93.1

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2021
United States 78.1%
Canada 2.6%
China 1.8%
Germany 1.5%
Japan 0.8%
See More Countries 15.2%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2021
United States 43.7%
China 19.9%
South Korea 3.7%
Germany 3.4%
Japan 3.4%
See More Countries 25.9%

Source: Comtrade, last available data

 

Main Products

494.6 bn USD of products exported in 2021
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 8.1%
Automatic data-processing machines and units...Automatic data-processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 6.7%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl....Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 6.2%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 6.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 4.8%
See More Products 68.0%
506.6 bn USD of products imported in 2021
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles...Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 5.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.9%
Electronic integrated circuits; parts thereofElectronic integrated circuits; parts thereof 4.3%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.1%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.7%
See More Products 79.9%

Source: Comtrade, last available data

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import/Export flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Mexican Peso (MXN)
Exchange Rate Regime
Currency exchange controls were suspended in 1991. Today, there is a free conversion of currencies, as well as the right to transfer profits and capital without limitations of amount or time.
Level of Currency Instability
The exchange rate of the Mexican peso is generally considered to be stable, as partially illustrated by the country's sound investment grading. However, the peso's value can sometimes strongly fluctuate. See the Bank of Mexico for more information on current and historical trends of the exchange rate.
Exchange Rate on :

 
 
Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Mexican Peso (MXN) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 THB 0.530.560.600.620.69

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.

 
 

Find out all the exchange rates daily on our service Currency Converter.

Return to top

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2007
International Economic Cooperation
Mexico is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), OECD, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ICC, G-3, G-15, G-20, G-24, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Mexico click here. International organisation membership of Mexico is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Mexico can be consulted here.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets
Yes

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Party of the TIR Convention
Yes

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
Goods shipped to Mexico must include the following documents:

- Single Administrative Document (DUA)
- Commercial invoice; three copies, written, in preference in Spanish
- A phytosanitary certificate for fruits, vegetables and seeds
- A sanitary certificate for meats
- Form EUR1 to benefit with a preferential rate; applied to European Union exports
- Certificate of radioactive contamination: mandatory especially for dairy products
- Free trade certificate for cosmetics, issued by the Ministry of Health of Mexico
- Documents related to the transportation and packaging lists

Mexican customs law is very strict regarding proper submission and preparation of customs documentation. Errors in paperwork can result in fines and even confiscation of merchandise as contraband.

To go further, check out our service Shipping documents.

Free-trade zones
Currently, there is no free-trade zone as such in Mexico.
For Further Information
Mexican Customs Agency official website ( in Spanish)
Ministry of Economy
Non Tariff Barriers
Since joining GATT in 1986, Mexico has reduced the number of products subject to import license. For those products still regulated, a permit must be obtained from the Ministry of the Economy. There are still a large number of specific conditions for textile products. Approximately 10% of imported goods are checked in detail, especially automobile, chemical, pharmaceutical, metallurgical and agricultural imports. Though origin regulations may allow goods to benefit from the reduction of duty taxes, rules have become more rigorous since Mexico signed onto NAFTA.
Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Can be consulted on the World Trade Organisation site.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Mexico’s commercial policy, as seen by the WTO
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the EU
Sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, inventoried by the EU

Return to top

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
Ministry of the Economy: Competitiveness and Standards
Integration in the International Standards Network
Mexico is a member of the following: International Organisation for Standardisation, International Electromechanical Commission, International Union of Telecommunication and Pan-American Commission for Technical Standards.
Obligation to Use Standards
The Mexican Official Standards (NOM) are mandatory. They are issued by government agencies. There are also voluntary standards (NMX.CC) that can be applied on local, regional or national levels. These are the equivalent to ISO 9000 standards. Certificates and laboratory analysis are recognised by the National System of Accreditation and by The National Laboratory of the Construction .
Classification of Standards
Official stamp 'NOM' with the name of the ministry of state that issued it.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
Mexicans respect standards and consider them a signal of quality and safety for products and services. However, national standards are less known than the Standard ISO 9000.
Online Consultation of Standards
Catalog of Official Mexican Standards (NOM's)
Certification Organisations
Association of Standards and Certification
Mexican Institute of Standards and Certification
NYCE Electronics Standards and Certification Organisation
National Organisation for Building and Construction Standards and Certification

Return to top

Any Comment About This Content? Report It to Us.

 

© Export Entreprises SA, All Rights Reserved.
Latest Update: November 2022