With $380 billion worth of imports in 2016, Mexico ranked as the 12th-largest importing country in the world. That year, its exports totalled $373B, which resulted in a negative trade balance of $6.62B.
Its top three import categories include machines, transportation, and plastic and rubbers. These make up 56.9% of total imports. Further breaking that down, we have:
Machines remain its most imported product category, increasing from 34% in 2007 to 39% in 2016.
Mexico is no longer the closed economy it was three decades ago. Its landscape has evolved and the country has opened up following the North American free-trade agreement in 1994. Today, nearly 50% of its total imports come from its northern neighbors - 47% from the US and 2.5% from Canada.
Across the Atlantic, nearly a third of its European imports originate from Germany (30%), followed by Italy (12%) and Spain (9.7%).
Farther east in the orient, Asian giants China makes up over half (53%) of its total imports from the continent. This is followed by Japan (14%) and South Korea (10%).
Mexico has gone from being one of the most closed markets in the world, to being the country that has free-trade deals with more countries than any other. Mexico has become the champion of trade.
- Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.
Looking at the past decade, Mexican imports have grown a whopping 47.9% since 2007’s $257 billion. Despite a trend of currency depreciation since the financial crisis, Mexico’s economy has grown rather impressively. It saw a dip when the financial crisis hit but recovered in 2011 and has been holding steady since 2014, with an increase of 1 - 2% in real GDP ever since. Its finance ministry is forecasting a growth of between 2 - 3% this year and 2.5 - 3.5% in 2019.
Here’s a look at Mexico’s imports over the past decade: