The annual growth in U.S. ag exports to Mexico has mostly been positive since the two countries opened their markets. In 2022, the United States exported 38.9 million metric tons (MMT) of agricultural products to Mexico worth $28.5 billion. Since NAFTA took effect in 1994, exports of U.S. ag products to Mexico have grown from 13.4 MMT and $4.67 billion. Over the 29 years of free trade between the two countries, starting with NAFTA and now USMCA, there was an increase in volume of U.S. ag exports for all but ten years. Note the trade value changed very little in the middle and late 2010’s despite volume growing nearly every year. It is assumed that the reason value did not match the growth in volume these years is because of a decrease in per unit export value of multiple major commodity groups. In only eight of the past twenty-nine years, we have not seen a positive change in the value of U.S. ag exports.
Value has grown substantially during this time, while the volume of trade has grown at a less dramatic rate as seen in Chart 1: U.S. Ag Exports to Mexico, 1989-2023. Higher increases in commodity prices are responsible for the different rates of growth. USMCA started in 2020 which coincided with a sudden rise in the value of ag exports; however, it is likely that the Covid-19 pandemic and high inflation caused the steep growth.
Texas agricultural exports to Mexico have contributed to the growth in U.S. ag exports to Mexico as seen in Chart 2: U.S. Ag Exports to Mexico, 1989-2023. During 2022, Texas accounted for 19 percent ($5.55 billion) of total U.S. ag exports to Mexico. The total export value of ag products from Texas to Mexico has increased 13 of the past 20 years. The United States has increased 15 of the past 20 years.
Young, Landyn. “U.S. has Experienced Consistent Ag Export Growth to Mexico Under NAFTA and USMCA.” Southern Ag Today 3(24.4). June 15, 2023. Permalink