Mexico Runs Up Large January Trade Deficit

02/27/18 10:06 AM EST
By Anthony Harrup 

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico ran up a $4.41 billion trade deficit in January, wider than the $3.47 billion trade gap a year earlier as import growth outpaced that of exports.

Exports increased 12.5% from the year-earlier month to $30.73 billion, and imports were 14.1% higher at $35.14 billion, the National Statistics Institute said Tuesday.

Petroleum trade accounted for $1.55 billion of last month's deficit, while the shortfall in nonpetroleum goods trade amounted to $2.86 billion. Petroleum exports rose 24.1% as oil prices recovered from a year earlier, and imports of gasoline and other fuels rose 14.8%.

Non-oil exports grew 11.6% to $28.4 billion, including a 10.5% rise in shipments abroad of manufactured goods to $26.32 billion.

Imports of intermediate goods, such as components used in manufacturing processes, rose 13% to $26.44 billion, and imports of equipment and machinery were up 18.8% at $3.76 billion. Consumer goods imports excluding petroleum jumped 19.3% to $3.45 billion.

The increase in January trade from a year before followed a strong 2017, when Mexican exports increased 9.5% to a record $409 billion and imports grew 8.6% to $420 billion, also a record.

The U.S. is the biggest recipient of Mexican exports, accounting for 80%. Mexico had a $71 billion trade surplus with the U.S. last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, up from a $64 billion surplus in 2016.

Narrowing the deficit with Mexico is among the aims of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. A seventh round of talks between the U.S., Mexico and Canada is under way in Mexico City this week.

Write to Anthony Harrup at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 27, 2018 10:06 ET (15:06 GMT)

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