Mexico Runs Up $1.89 Billion September Trade Deficit

By Anthony Harrup Features Dow Jones Newswires

Mexico logged a $1.89 billion trade deficit in September, wider than the year-earlier gap as growth in imports outpaced that of exports.

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Exports last month increased 3.4% from a year before to $33.82 billion, helped by higher oil prices and growth in shipments of manufactured goods, the National Statistics Institute said Thursday. Imports grew 4.3% to $35.7 billion as Mexico spent more on foreign petroleum products and components used in production processes.

The shortfall in September brought the accumulated deficit for the first nine months of the year to $9.05 billion, the result of a $13.3 billion deficit in petroleum trade partially offset by a $4.26 billion surplus in nonpetroleum goods.

Mexico exports crude oil, but imports more than half of the natural gas and gasoline that it consumes. Petroleum exports rose 1.1% in September to $1.91 billion, while fuel imports increased 17.8% to $3.62 billion.

State oil company Petróleos Mexicanos exported 1.159 million barrels a day of crude oil, up slightly from August but below the 1.425 million barrels a day that it exported in September 2016.

Pemex's cut its oil production sharply last month to about 1.73 million barrels a day because a temporary closure of its biggest refinery after an earthquake, and refinery outages on the U.S. Gulf Coast following hurricane Harvey, caused Pemex to fill up its crude storage capacity.

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Production was back around 1.94 million barrels a day in early October, according to preliminary company reports.

Exports of factory-made goods, which make up 90% of Mexico's total exports, grew 3.5% last month, as did imports of parts and materials used in those processes, excluding fuels.

Imports of consumer goods rose 7%, while purchases of foreign-made equipment and machinery fell 3.1% from a year earlier.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 26, 2017 10:23 ET (14:23 GMT)