Mexico Registers $1.08 Billion Trade Deficit in May

By Anthony Harrup Features Dow Jones Newswires

Mexico had a $1.08 billion trade deficit in May, more than double the shortfall in the year-earlier month as the deficit in petroleum goods widened, the National Statistics Institute said Tuesday.

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Exports last month rose 12.9% from a year earlier to $35.47 billion thanks to solid gains in shipments of factory-made goods, while imports increased 14.7% to $36.54 billion.

The May trade balance brought the deficit for the first five months of the year to $2.97 billion, with a $6.88 billion deficit in petroleum partly offset by a $3.91 billion surplus in nonpetroleum goods.

Average crude oil prices rose from May 2016, but export volume fell to 958,000 barrels a day from 1.2 million barrels a day. Imports of fuels such as gasoline, diesel and natural gas rose 23% from a year before.

Mexico exports crude oil, but imports more than half of the gasoline and natural gas that it consumes. State oil company Petróleos Mexicanos imported 494,000 barrels a day of gasoline in May, up from 461,000 the year before, and is expected to raise imports further after flooding and a fire this month forced it to shut down its biggest refinery until the end of July.

Exports of manufactured goods remained buoyant in May, rising 12.9% to $31.79 billion with strong gains in vehicles, auto parts, and nonautomotive sectors.

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Consumer goods imports continued to recover along with the rebound in the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar. Excluding petroleum products, consumer imports rose 7% from May 2016, but were still down 0.9% for the first five months of the year.

Write to Anthony Harrup at anthony.harrup@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 27, 2017 10:08 ET (14:08 GMT)