What Is The Main Import Of Mexico?

October 14, 2021

In recent years, Mexico has grown to become the 15th largest economy in the world. There are a number of factors which have helped to make this a reality, but the main cause of the country’s economic growth is the number of companies based in the United States that have moved production or other parts of their businesses to Mexico. 

The free trade agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico is primarily responsible for the increased investment in Mexico; it has helped Mexico to secure a position as a major trading partner with both of its North American neighbors.

A major element of the Mexican economy is the importing and exporting of goods. This part of the economy has been boosted thanks to the aforementioned trade agreement and the subsequent reduction of taxes and tariffs. In some cases, these have been eliminated altogether. 

Mexico imported a total of $383.3 billion worth of goods from around the globe in a single year. Almost half of these came from the United States and Canada, while 39% came from Asia and another 11.6% from Europe. Smaller amounts were also imported from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

What Are The Primary Imports?

Within the extensive number of items brought into the country each year, there are a few in particular that are the main imports of Mexico.

Corn

Mexico is one of the largest consumers of corn in the world, and the United States is its primary supplier. The US exported over 44 million metric tons of corn to Mexico in a single year. Argentina is another major purchaser of American corn, importing 150,000 tons in the same year. Mexico has also been looking to Brazil as an alternate source to help counter potential issues which may result from the current trade agreement with the USA in the future.

Electrical Machinery

Electrical machinery is another major export into Mexico, accounting for 40% of the country’s imports in a year—an amount which totalled $150 billion. This forms the largest imported commodity, with the majority of supplies coming from India. 

India contributed around $210 million worth of the total value of electrical equipment imports by Mexico. The high percentage of imports in this category makes sense when we consider that Mexico is a key hotspot for vehicle manufacturing, especially for US-based businesses.

Refined Oil

Mexico currently exports crude oil to a number of countries, including the United States and Canada. There is an issue, however. The majority of refineries in Mexico are more equipped to handle light crude oil, leaving them unable to satisfy the demand for oil within the country. 

The demand for oil comes from manufacturing plants, as well as a number of other industries. This means that a constant, ongoing supply is required, which must be sourced from external sources. As a result, high levels of oil are imported every year.

Medical Supplies And Equipment

One of the primary groups of products exported into Mexico are those related to medical procedures, including supplies and equipment. This change has been largely driven by the growth of medical tourism in Mexico, which has increased the demand and requirement for top-quality medical equipment. 

Over 80% of all medical supplies used in the country are imported, and around $5.7 billion has been spent on procuring the required items. These medical products are used across the three principal areas of the Mexican medical industry—medical services, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biopharma. 

One of the major appeals of the system is that all medical equipment, supplies, and devices can be imported with a duty exemption, providing that they come with a NAFTA certificate of origin. This helps Mexico to cut costs significantly.

In addition to the above, there are a few other items that fall into the most popular items exported into Mexico, and these include:

  • Vehicles - Automotive manufacturing companies are responsible for 8.4% of imports, and the mexico automobile industry continues to grow. 
  • Mineral fuels form 6.6% of imports.
  • Plastics and plastic articles form 5.7% of imports.
  • Optical, technical, and medical apparatus form 4.1% of imports.
  • Iron and steel form 2.3% of imports.
  • Articles of iron or steel form 2.1% of imports.
  • Organic chemicals form 1.9% of imports.
  • Aluminum forms 1.5% of imports.

The Future

While items and specifications may change, there is one thing that seems certain to remain stable: the trend of importing products into Mexico is highly unlikely to be reversed.

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