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Mexico: Exports
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Foreign Trade > Exports


The mid-1980s decline in world petroleum prices caused the value of Mexico's exports to fall from US$24 billion in 1984 to US$16 billion in 1986, reflecting the country's continued heavy dependence on petroleum export revenue. Lower oil earnings helped to reduce Mexico's trade surplus to almost US$5 billion in 1986. Export revenue rose slightly to US$21 billion in 1987, as oil prices began to recover. Exports continued to rise modestly but steadily thereafter, reaching US$28 billion in 1992. The government promoted exports vigorously in an effort to close a trade gap that began in 1989 and widened in subsequent years. The state-run Foreign Commerce Bank channeled finance to a wide range of potential exporters, especially small and medium-sized firms and agricultural and fishing enterprises. In 1993 it provided US$350 million for the tourist sector, representing a 35 percent increase over 1992.

The value of Mexico's exports rose steadily from US$43 billion in 1991 to US$61 billion in 1994, despite the new peso's overvaluation. The currency devaluation of late 1994 contributed to a significant jump in the value of Mexico's exports to US$80 billion in 1995, a 31 percent increase over the previous year.

Total export earnings for the first quarter of 1996 were US$22 billion. Manufactures accounted for US$67 billion (84 percent) of Mexico's exports in 1995, followed by oil exports (US$9 billion or 11 percent), agricultural products (US$4 billion, or 5 percent), and mining products (US$545 million, or less than 1 percent). This improved export performance resulted from the new peso devaluation, weak domestic demand because of the recession, new export opportunities opened by NAFTA, and improved commodity prices. Export growth was expected to slow during 1996, as a result of recovery of domestic demand, expected drops in the prices of oil and other nonfood items, capacity constraints, and strengthening of the new peso.

Last Updated: June 1996

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Mexico was first published in 1996. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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