Itaú BBA - MEXICO – Trade balance improved even further in February

Macro Latam

< Voltar

MEXICO – Trade balance improved even further in February

Março 27, 2020

Manufacturing exports deteriorated on a monthly basis

The trade balance improved in February, supported by the non-energy balance. Monthly trade balance posted a surplus of USD 2.9 billion in February, above median market expectations (USD 2.4 billion deficit, as per Bloomberg) – taking the 12-month rolling trade balance to a surplus of USD 9.6 billion in February (from a surplus of USD 8.1 billion in January). Looking at the breakdown, also using 12-month rolling figures, the energy trade deficit deteriorated slightly to USD 21.4 billion in February (compared to a deficit of USD 20.9 billion in January), while non-energy balance improved to a surplus of USD 31.1 billion (from a surplus of USD 29.0 billion). At the margin, using 3-month annualized seasonally adjusted figures, trade balance stood at a surplus of USD 19.2 billion in February (from a surplus of USD 16.7 billion in January), with the energy trade balance posting a deficit of USD 18.9 billion (practically unchanged from last month), while the non-energy trade surplus stood at USD 38.1 billion (from a surplus of USD 35.7 billion).

At the margin, exports momentum was solid in February.  Using seasonally adjusted figures, the quarter-over-quarter annualized growth rate (qoq/saar) of total exports was 11.1% in February (from -0.4% in January), with manufacturing and oil exports expanding 7.7% and 93.0%, respectively. Nevertheless, on a monthly basis manufacturing exports contracted 1.4%, while oil exports deteriorated sharply (-28.3%) associated  to low oil prices. 

Non-oil imports momentum remains weak. Total imports fell by 0.2% qoq/saar in February (from -5.3% in January). Looking at the breakdown, non-oil imports posted a contraction of 1.5% qoq/saar in February (from -6.7% in January), with non-oil imports of consumption, intermediate and capital goods qoq/saar at -11.9%, 0.9% and -8.2%, respectively. 

We expect a deterioration of the trade balance in 2020 (relative to 2019). We expect a sharper deterioration in manufacturing exports (due to the deceleration in the U.S.) relative to non-oil imports (due to the worsening in internal demand), associated to the negative shock from the coronavirus outbreak, to decrease the non-energy trade balance.   


Julio Ruiz



< Voltar