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


The 1985 peso devaluations and the 1986 oil price collapse produced a dramatic shift in the composition of Mexico's exports. The value of Mexico's oil exports plummeted from US$13 billion in 1985 to less than US$6 billion in 1986. The oil sector's share of total export revenue consequently fell from 78 percent in 1982 to 42 percent in 1987. Oil export revenue recovered in 1987 to US$7.9 billion as petroleum prices rose. Prompted by the peso devaluation and low domestic demand, nonoil exports rose 41 percent in 1986 and an additional 24 percent in 1987. In 1987 manufactured exports (especially engineering and chemical products) constituted 48 percent of total exports by value, eclipsing petroleum and reducing Mexico's vulnerability to fluctuations in the world oil price. Between 1988 and 1991, petroleum exports fell 22 percent in value because of lower world oil prices and declining sales, while nonoil exports rose 15 percent in value. By 1992 petroleum contributed only 30 percent of total exports by value.

In 1994 petroleum and its derivatives accounted for US$7 billion, or 12 percent, of Mexico's total export revenue of US$62 billion. Transport equipment and machinery exports earned US$33 billion, or 54 percent of total exports. Chemicals earned US$3 billion, or 5 percent, and metals and manufactured metal products earned US$3 billion, or 5 percent. Agricultural, processed food, beverage, and tobacco products accounted for US$3 billion, or 5 percent of total exports.

Data as of June 1996

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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Section 136 of 213


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