Oil dominates Mexico’s trade deficit in 2021

Mexican goods exports recorded 18.5% year-on-year growth in 2021 to $ 494,224.5 million, Inegi reported yesterday.

Conversely, imports from Mexico were $ 505,715.6 million, an increase of 32.1%, at an annual rate.

As a result, the country recorded a $ 11,491.1 million deficit in its product trade balance, after two years of surpluses caused by declining imports, which in turn were associated with weak domestic consumption and investment environments.

The Mexican deficit was largely driven by the oil balance deficit, which reached a historic high of $ 24.925 million, in an environment where the higher price of oil increased the value of crude oil exports, but not the increase in value. of imports. .

While oil exports amounted to $ 28.925 million, reflecting an increase of 65.4% (the price of the Mexican export mix went from $ 47.12 to $ 71.29 per barrel between the first and last business day of 2021), imports grew by 71.5% to $ 53.851 million.

It was the product of the same rise in crude oil prices, which boosted the price of imported refined products, with which Mexico supplies about two-thirds of its national consumption (gasoline, diesel, LP gas, etc.).

Meanwhile, the natural gas crisis in February last year was also damaged by a winter storm in Texas, which multiplied the value of the imported molecule, on which Mexico is largely dependent on electricity generation, by several integers.

record trade

Thanks to the progress of its trade in both directions, for the first time, Mexico achieved virtually a total trade (imports plus exports) of 1 billion dollars (999 940.1 million).

Previously, exports showed a strong downward trend, growing by 10% in 2018, slowing to 2% in 2019 and falling to -9% in 2020, affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In particular, Mexican exports last year benefited from the fiscal stimulus granted in the United States – its main destination – from the recent entry into force of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC) and from the trade war between the United States and China.

On the contrary, its biggest obstacle was the global shortage of semiconductor chips, which particularly slowed down car production, of which foreign sales were the only major subdivision with a year-on-year decline in December, from -4.6%, to 12,592 , $ 5 million.

In total, car exports grew by 13.8% to $ 139.841.6 million in 2021.

In summary, non-oil exports are estimated at $ 465,298.9 million in 2021, an increase of 16.5%; while the oil companies amounted to 28,925.6 million, which achieved a growth of 65.4 percent.

“We believe that, despite the recent controversy between the United States, Canada and Mexico over the interpretation of certain T-MEC rules, this treaty will remain the main driver of Mexican exports. Especially if the dialogue tables between the highest trading representatives of each country continue, ”said Ricardo Aguilar Abe, an analyst at Invex bank.

Recently, Mexico’s economic activity has shown an upward trend in agriculture, industry and services. The latter sector has a degree of heterogeneity, with recovery lagging behind in high-impact sectors such as leisure and hospitality, while activity in some other sectors is above pre-pandemic levels.

Within non-oil exports, agricultural exports grew by 7.6% in 2021 ($ 19,668.2 million), extraction exports increased by 29% (9,554.8 million) and manufacturing increased by 16.7% (436 075.9 million) increased.

In December 2021 and with series adjusted for seasonality, total goods exports reported a monthly decrease of 0.10%, which is derived from the combination of a contraction of 8.05% in oil exports and a growth of 0.43% in exports, not oil.

From now on, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that the Mexican economy will expand by 3.3% in 2022 and 2.5% in 2023, after growing by 5.9% in 2021. His projection includes that Mexican exports will continue to benefit from the strong recovery of the United States.

In terms of the composition of imports in 2021, that of consumer goods grew by 34.9% ($ 62,017.6 million), that of intermediate goods increased by 32.7% (403,163.7 million) and that of capital goods was 21.8% higher (40,534.3 million).

With seasonally adjusted ranges, total imports showed a monthly increase of 4.86% in December, due to increases of 4.72% in non-oil imports and 5.99% in oil imports.

By 2022, Invex estimates a deficit close to $ 15,000 million. “The growth of both exports and imports should slow down, as well as that of other variables that are starting to lose momentum after the important recovery process observed after the initial blow of the pandemic,” Ricardo Aguilar pointed out.

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