TREND: The top 10 U.S.-Mexico border ports of entry in terms of total merchandise trade by value fell significantly in 2020 compared to 2019 amidst the recession due to the Covid-19 crisis. The largest absolute declines were seen at Laredo PoE with a loss of roughly US $25.6 billion (-11.1%), Santa Teresa PoE with a loss of roughly US $6.5 billion (-21.3%), and El Paso PoE with a loss of roughly US $6.4 billion (-8.1%). As a whole, the top 10 ports decreased by 10.5% (- US $55.1 billion) in 2020 compared to 2019.
•The top 10 U.S.-Mexico border ports of entry in terms of total trade remained the same in 2020 as in 2019, continuing in the same order with the exception of Eagle Pass PoE, which switched ranks with Santa Teresa PoE, jumping to 5th while Santa Teresa dropped to 6th.
•The top 5 ports of entry accounted for approximately 81% of total trade in 2020 across U.S.-Mexico border ports of entry: Laredo PoE with 43.3% (US $205.9 billion), El Paso PoE with 15.3% (US $72.6 billion), Otay Mesa PoE with 9.7% (US $46 billion), Hidalgo PoE with 6.9% ($33.1 US billion), and Eagle Pass PoE with 5.9% (US $28.1 US billion).
•Two of the top three ports saw increased shares of total trade in 2020 compared to 2019, with El Paso PoE increasing from 14.9% to 15.3%, Otay Mesa PoE increasing from 9.2% to 9.7%, and Laredo PoE decreasing from 43.6% to 43.3%.
•However, the top 10 ports all saw decreases in comparison to 2019, with the largest absolute declines seen at Laredo PoE with a loss of roughly $25.6 US billion (-11.1%), Santa Teresa PoE with a loss of roughly $6.5 US billion (-21.3%), and El Paso PoE with a loss of roughly $6.4 US billion (-8.1%). Santa Teresa’s decline of 21.3% was the largest relative decline of any top port. As a whole, the top 10 ports decreased by 10.5% (-$55.1 US billion) in 2020 compared to 2019.
TAKEAWAY: Total trade through U.S.-Mexico border ports of entry took a substantial hit in 2020 following severe economic restrictions for large parts of the year. Santa Teresa PoE was hit the hardest, with the largest relative decrease and the second largest absolute decrease, behind only the top port (Laredo) which accounts for 43.3% of all trade through the U.S.-Mexico border. Altogether, the top 10 ports decreased in 2020 by 10.5% (- US $55.1 billion).
* 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