TREND: In August, US-Mexico trade grew 1.26% compared to July 2021 and is up by 28.36% compared to August 2020. Mexico is still the US’s largest trade partner for the seventh month in a row this year, however Canada has been trading more with the US month-to-month since May 2021. Total trade between Canada and the US in August was US $56.8 billion compared to Mexico’s US $56.3 billion. Today Canada is behind Mexico as the US’ second largest trade partner by only $2.6 billion, which represents less than 0.1% of total US trade. North American trade today represents almost one third of all US trade. This month we will explore how trade between the US’ three largest trade partners has changed.
•Mexico’s exports to the US in August (US $32.0 billion) grew 0.56% this month after a 3.38% decline last month. Mexican imports (US $24.1 billion) from the US also grew 2.20% after a slight 1.95% contraction last month. To date, both Mexican exports and imports are up more than 23.49% and 35.75% respectively compared to August 2020.
•Mexico is still the top trade partner of the US while Canada is the second. Total US-Mexico trade in 2021 equals US $431.8 billion or 14.6% of total US trade, which is still greater than Canada (US $429.6 billion) and China (US $407.1 billion). Both Mexico and Canada lost 0.1% of total US trade while China stayed the same at 13.8%. The top 5 US trade partners are still 1. Mexico, 2. Canada, 3. China, 4. Japan, and 5. Germany.
US Total Trade with Canada, China & Mexico, 2021 (YTD, USD billions)
•As of August 2021, although Mexico’s share as the US second top export market for goods stayed the same as July 2021 (16.0%) it has been however closing the gap with Canada. Canada’s share as the leading importer of US goods stayed the same this month at 17.77%. US exports to China decreased again for the fifth consecutive month from 8.8% in February to 8.3% in August.
Imports from the US to Canada, China & Mexico, 2021 (by month, USD billions)
•China is still the top source of US imports (17.2% of total) and its percentage stayed the same again this month, after months of continued contraction it is starting to accelerate again. Mexico’s share of total US imports decreased again this month (13.8%) by 0.1% while Canada’s stayed the same this month (12.6%), as the US grew its imports from Canada this month.
Exports from Canada, China & Mexico to the US, 2021 (by month, US billions)
•The top 5 US imports from Mexico in total value this month compared to August 2021 are (i) 87 Vehicles, expect railway or tramway (ii) 85 Electric machinery etc; sound equip; tv equip (iii) 84 Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery (iv) 27 Mineral fuel, oil; etc (v) 90 Optic, Photo etc, medic or surgical instruments. In September, most categories grew compared to July 2021. The three categories that grew the most were: (i) Furskins And Artificial Fur; Manufactures Thereof (623.36%) (ii) Tin And Articles Thereof (146.75%), and Veg Text Fib Nesoi; Veg Fib & Paper Yns & Wov Fab (60.55%).
•The top 5 US exports to Mexico compared to August 2021 in total value were (i) 85 Electric machinery etc; sound equip; tv equipment (ii) 84 Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery (iii) 27 Mineral fuel, oil; etc (iv) 39 plastics and articles thereof (v) 87 vehicles and parts. During the same period, all US export categories to Mexico also grew. The three types of products with the most growth compared to August 2021 were: (i) Works Of Art, Collectors’ Pieces And Antiques (884.13%), (ii) Umbrellas, Walking-sticks, Riding-crops Etc, Parts (104.37), (iii) Tobacco And Manufactured Tobacco Substitutes (82.70%). If you’re interested in seeing these trends visually, check out AmCham’s trade dashboard here (Spanish version available)
TAKEAWAY: US-Mexico trade recovered after a slight decrease in July 2021, however Chinese and Canadian exports to the US have been increasing and closing the gap with Mexico compared to the beginning of the year. US-Canada trade, mostly driven by its increase in Canadian exports while maintaining stable numbers in US imports, has been higher than US-Mexico trade for months, and has been consistently closing the gap with Mexico. Chinese exports to the US have also been accelerating at a rate faster than Mexico and Canada’s, and have been consistently rising since April. Although Mexico is closing the third quarter continuing to be the US’ largest trade partner, competition with both China and Canada is strong.
* Spotlight by José Burnes, AmCham/Mexico’s Trade & Investment Center Manager and Gaby Valdés, Trade & Investment Center Specialist. The American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico (AmCham/Mexico) seeks to facilitate commercial integration between Mexico and the US, build a favorable business environment, and contribute with proposals to consolidate Mexico’s competitiveness and development as a top destination for American investment. By connecting companies and sharing trends and market intelligence, its Trade & Investment Center boosts cross-border business. Twitter: @amchammexico