Mexico registers surprise April trade surplus and historical flow of remittancesBy Elliot Bullman
Mexico chalked up an unexpected $617 million trade surplus in April as higher oil and factory exports combined with a drop in imports of nonpetroleum goods.
Exports last month rose 3.6% to $31.48 billion from the same period a year earlier, while imports fell 5% to $30.87 billion, according to figures released by the National Statistics Institute. The surplus brought the trade balance for the first four months of the year to a deficit of $2.16 billion.
Petroleum exports rose 26.9% in April to $1.68 billion thanks largely to higher crude-oil prices. Crude exports by volume were little changed from March and from a year earlier at 1.02 million barrels a day.
Exports of manufactured goods increased a modest 1.9% from a year ago, with growth likely affected by the Easter holiday week that fell in April this year compared with March of 2016. Vehicles and auto-parts shipments abroad rose 1.5% and other factory exports were 2.1% higher.
The economy was boosted further by the volume of family remittances that entered the country in April which grew 6.2 percent annually and totalled $ 2.306 billion, a historic flow for a similar period.
According to the records of the Bank of Mexico, cash transfers to the country had not recorded such a high amount for a fourth month since 1995.In local currency, these shipments totalled 43.3 billion pesos, implying an annual increase of 14 percent.The accumulated amount between January and April was 8 thousand 946 million dollars, also, an unprecedented figure.
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