TREND: Of the top ten U.S.-Mexico ports of entry in terms of total merchandise trade in 2019, El Paso Port of Entry (PoE) and Santa Teresa PoE continued to suffer the most in terms of year-over-year decreases in October. On the other hand, Eagle Pass PoE, Laredo PoE, and Otay Mesa PoE were the only ports to see increases. Moreover, all of the top ports, except El Paso, increased on a monthly basis compared to September.
•In October, El Paso PoE witnessed the sharpest year-over-year decline in total merchandise trade of the top ten ports at -81.8%, a roughly US $6 billion decrease compared to October of 2019, while Santa Teresa had the second largest year-over-year decrease at -13.2%, a loss of roughly US $350 million.
•Nevertheless, Eagle Pass PoE, Laredo PoE, and Otay Mesa PoE increased in October on a year-over-year basis by 21.4% (US $545 million), 7.7% (US $1.5 billion), and 0.7% (US $32 million), respectively.
•However, all of the top ports, except El Paso, saw monthly gains in October compared to September. On a relative basis, Santa Teresa PoE led the way with a 32.7% (US $570 million) increase, followed by Calexico-East PoE with a 16.7% (US $235 million) increase, Laredo PoE with a 10.4% (US $1.9 billion) increase, and Eagle Pass PoE with a 9.9% (US $278 million) increase compared to last month. El Paso PoE decreased by 6.2% (US $87 million) in October on a monthly basis.
TAKEAWAY: While yearly totals compared to last year are down due to the severe economic restrictions earlier in the year, the increases in total trade seen at the majority of the ports on a monthly basis in October, and the year-over-year increases at the three aforementioned ports, are important signs of recovery. The continued decline at the El Paso PoE is worth noting, however, given it is the second largest U.S.-Mexico port in terms of total trade.
* Since 2014, the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness at The University of Texas at El Paso has provided economic analysis of the Paso del Norte Region that includes the binational communities of El Paso, Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The mission of the Hunt Institute is to produce high-quality market analysis tools that can strengthen regional and binational cross-border economic and social development. Twitter: @HuntPasoDeNorte