Mexico Registers $1.24 Billion January Trade Deficit

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico ran up a $1.24 billion trade deficit in January, its first deficit in eight months with both exports and imports down from a year earlier.

Exports fell 2.6% from January 2020 to $32.7 billion, while imports decreased 5.9% to $33.94 billion, the National Statistics Institute said Friday.

Exports of manufactured goods were down 2.6% from a year earlier, with vehicles and auto parts shipments up 1.7% and exports of other factory-made goods down 3.2%.

Agricultural goods exports fell 12%, and petroleum exports were down 20% on lower volume of crude oil exports which fell to 979,000 barrels a day from 1.24 million barrels a day in January 2020. Mining exports other than petroleum rose 45%.

External demand for Mexican goods is expected to be the main driver of the economic recovery in 2021 after gross domestic product shrank 8.2% last year, its sharpest contraction since the Great Depression.

Imports of intermediate goods used in production chains were down 2.6% in January from a year before, and consumer goods imports excluding fuels fell 7.4%. Imports of equipment and machinery were down 11%.

The monthly deficit was the first since May 2020. Mexico had a string of large monthly trade surpluses in the second half of last year as export demand, particularly from the U.S., recovered quicker than Mexican demand for foreign goods.

The country ended last year with a record $34.5 billion trade surplus, with a $48.5 billion surplus in nonpetroleum trade partially offset by a $14 billion petroleum deficit.

Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@wsj.com


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  02-26-21 0752ET
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