Mexico Registered $2.07 Billion Trade Deficit in October

By Anthony Harrup Features Dow Jones Newswires

Mexico ran up a $2.07 billion trade deficit in October, more than double the shortfall in the year-earlier month as petroleum imports continued to rise, offsetting gains in shipments abroad of manufactured goods.

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Exports last month grew 13.2% from October of 2016 to $36.90 billion, while imports increased 16.3% to $38.97 billion, the National Statistics Institute said Monday.

Petroleum exports rose 16.5% to $2.25 billion, including $2.03 billion in crude oil as state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos exported 1.342 million barrels a day, up from 1.312 million barrels a day in October 2016.

Higher oil prices also had an impact on petroleum imports, including gasoline, diesel and natural gas, which grew 40.1% to $4.08 billion.

Exports of manufactured goods, which account for nearly 90% of the total, rose 12.6%, led by an 18.8% increase in exports of vehicles and auto parts.

Imports of intermediate goods used in production processes grew 17% in October from a year before, and consumer goods imports excluding fuels rose 11.8%. Mexico also imported 9.2% more machinery and equipment.

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The October results brought the trade deficit for the first 10 months of the year to $11.12 billion, with a $15.15 billion deficit in oil and petroleum products partly offset by a $4.03 billion surplus in non-oil goods trade.

Adjusted for seasonal effects, exports slipped 0.6% from September, with shipments of manufactured goods down 1.2%, while imports fell 1.1%, the statistics institute reported.

The country's heavy reliance on manufacturing exports as an engine of growth has put the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the spotlight, particularly as most of Mexico's exports go to the U.S.

"With Nafta talks ongoing, we think markets may become particularly sensitive to Mexico's trade performance," Brown Brothers Harriman said in a note.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 10:04 ET (15:04 GMT)