Mexico Foreign Trade
Mexico’s trade, which had been very scarce during the first fifty years of independence, began to develop rapidly towards the end of the last century, thanks to the progress of mining and agricultural production and especially to the improvement of the means of transport, that is to say the construction of the railways which allowed the renewal of all branches of the activities and opened territories closed to traffic until then. The evolution was very rapid, so much so that from the 50 million pesos which represented the total of imports and exports in the fiscal year 1874-75, it went to 450 million pesos, the average of the total trade in the three years from 1904-5 to 1906-7. The progress also continued in the following years and in the fiscal year ended June 30, 1912 the sum of 480 million pesos was reached: in that year imports were 182 million and exports represented a value of 297 million with a favorable balance of 115 million pesos. Then, due to internal unrest and the world war, the trade marked a notable setback, but the recovery, after the war, was rapid and continuous, thanks in particular to the enormous production of oil, which became the first export item. In the five-year period 1927-1931, according to official statistics, foreign trade was as follows: the trade marked a notable setback, but the recovery, after the war was over, was rapid and continuous, thanks in particular to the enormous production of oil, which became the first export item. In the five-year period 1927-1931, according to official statistics, foreign trade was as follows: the trade marked a notable setback, but the recovery, after the war was over, was rapid and continuous, thanks in particular to the enormous production of oil, which became the first export item. In the five-year period 1927-1931, according to official statistics, foreign trade was as follows:
The balance of trade in favor of Mexico remains constant despite being subject to variations depending on the trend of production; in the last two years considered and especially in 1931, the world crisis and the consequent fall in prices, especially of raw materials, also made itself felt for Mexico.
The analysis of the data relating to the year 1929, the last normal year, shows us the composition of Mexican trade. As far as imports are concerned, the first place among animal products is pork and other animal fats (15 million pesos), followed by fresh and preserved meat (4.6 million), hides and skins (2.4), eggs (1,2), etc. Among the vegetable products we note vegetable oils (4,6), wheat and various cereals (11), wines and liqueurs (3,9), fresh and dried fruits (2), rubber products (8, 5). Of the textile articles we remember cotton, wool, linen and jute fabrics for 16 million, silk and artificial silk fabrics (7,1); yarns, sewing threads and twisted threads (9,2), embroideries etc. (2,2), clothing (2,1), etc.
The largest sum (57 million) is due to the importation of machinery for agriculture and industry that Mexico cannot yet produce; the motor vehicles represent the figure of 26.1 million and the railway material 2.1. Of the mineral products we note the materials of iron and steel (33.5 million), copper and copper materials (8), petroleum and derivatives (12.9), aluminum (1.6). Finally, 11.5 million of industrial products are made of paper and 5.4 million of weapons and ammunition.
The main items of export, for the same 1929, were: among the animal products the livestock (7 million pesos), the skins (6) and the fresh and salted fish (2.6); among the vegetable products, coffee (32 million), henequén (32), cotton (15), chicle, which is used for chewing gum (10), tomatoes (9.8), chickpeas (6.5), fresh and dried fruit (8.4), ixtle (7), wood (5.5), etc. Much more important are the mining products which provided over 71% of the total export. The export of the ores was then made up almost completely (97%) of silver (93 million), copper (88), petroleum (87), lead (84) and zinc (60).
The percentage due to oil had been much higher in the years 1919-22, when oil and its derivatives provided 75% of the total, and still in 1925, out of a total export of 682 million pesos, oil accounted for 292 million. The decrease is linked to the opposition made by foreign concession companies against the new laws, but the decrease in oil exports is partly offset by the increase in other minerals.
Mexico maintains commercial exchanges with many states of the world, but the absolute prevalence belongs to the United States, favored by the geographical position and by the continuity of the territory which allows traffic to take place comfortably both by land and by sea. The penetration of the United States is also aided by the large number of mining, industrial and agricultural enterprises supported by predominantly American capital; The wartime period that eliminated trade with Europe contributed to widening North American participation in Mexican traffic.
In 1929 the United States supplied 69% of the value of imported goods (264 million pesos) and absorbed 62% of Mexican exports, worth 370 million pesos. Great Britain followed at a great distance, with 26 million for imports and 61 million for exports, equal to 7% and 12% respectively, Germany which supplies 8% of imported goods (31 million) and absorbs 7% of the imported goods., 6% of exports (44 million). Italy came in tenth place, selling goods worth 3,479,000 pesos to Mexico and buying goods worth 2.3 million. In 1931 Italy passed to seventh place with the respective sum of 2.1 and 2.4 million pesos.
The commercial movement is carried out for the most part through the ports of the Gulf and the northern border, while the exchanges with Guatemala and British Honduras and the movement of the ports of the Pacific coast are very weak. Already in 1904-1905 Atlantic ports comprised 61.2% of total trade versus 5.4% of peaceful ports, and exchanges across the northern border accounted for 32.7% of the total versus 0.6% passed through the southern border. Twenty years later, in 1924, the proportions had changed little: the Atlantic ports continued to hold the absolute dominance, concentrating about 70% of the total traffic; in first place was Tampico which, thanks to the export of oil, had overtaken Veracruz, with 74, 6 million pesos of imported goods and 429 of exported goods; Veracruz followed with an overall movement of 118 million (72.7 for imports and 46.3 for exports) and then Progreso (30.6 million) and Tuxpán (20.5). Exchanges across the northern land border reached a total value of approximately 249 million pesos, equal to 26.6% of the total (two-fifths, 102.9 million, passed through Laredo); Pacific ports did not cover 3.5%, Mazatlán, the first western port, recorded a movement of 12.2 million pesos, Acapulco did not reach 300 thousand pesos. Exchanges across the northern land border reached a total value of approximately 249 million pesos, equal to 26.6% of the total (two-fifths, 102.9 million, passed through Laredo); Pacific ports did not cover 3.5%, Mazatlán, the first western port, recorded a movement of 12.2 million pesos, Acapulco did not reach 300 thousand pesos. Exchanges across the northern land border reached a total value of approximately 249 million pesos, equal to 26.6% of the total (two-fifths, 102.9 million, passed through Laredo); Pacific ports did not cover 3.5%, Mazatlán, the first western port, recorded a movement of 12.2 million pesos, Acapulco did not reach 300 thousand pesos. For Mexico 2018, please check ethnicityology.com.
Merchant marine. – It is made up of 74 ships, per ton. 42,820 gross, of which only three exceeding 1000 tons. unit gross (the largest is the Coahuilaof tons gross 2585). Seven ships of the aforementioned fleet, for a total of 15,000 tons. gross, are of the Linea Nacional de Navigación, belonging to the state and intended for cabotage services between the Mexican ports of the Pacific. The direction of the line passed in 1926 to the federal executive power, which has the purpose of organizing, directing and administering the national navy. Before the World War the Treasury gave annual subsidies ranging from 70,000 to 270,000 dollars per year to foreign companies that carried out the country’s international traffic. Then the system was subverted and the law of 13 November 1930 authorized the granting of subsidies to four groups of national ships: passenger ships (2000 tons at least); cargo (2 thousand); engaged in cabotage (1000-2000 tons); to small traffic (100-500). The shipowners will have to assume the obligation of the free transport of the postal effects. Cabotage is reserved for the flag. There are no construction sites.
Civil aviation. – A few years ago the Mexican Aviation Association was organized in Mexico City by private individuals to revive interest in aviation and monitor its development. In Monterrey (Nuevo León) there is a civil piloting school; in Veracruz the civil naval aviation school. Mexican civil aviation depends on the special department, created in the Ministry of Communications and Public Works, with the meteorological, radiotelegraphic, statistical and health subsections.
a) Airlines. – Compañía mejicana de aviación: operates airlines between Mexico and Matamoros, Veracruz and Mérida, Veracruz and Guatemala. This company is a subsidiary of the American Pan-American Airways; Corporación Aeronautica de Transportes Aéreos: manages the Mexico-Ciudad Juárez and Mazatlán-Matamoros airlines; Compañía Pickwick Latino-American: operates airlines between Mexico and the United States and between Mexico and Guatemala; Compañía de Transportes Aéreos Méjico-Cuba, with the airline between Mexico and Havana.
b) Civil airports. – Mexicali in the state of Baja California; Guaymas and Hermosillo in Sonora; Ciudad Juárez and Ciudad Jiménez in Chihuahua; Saltillo in Coahuila; Monterrey in Nuevo León; Tampico and Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas); Mazatlán (Sinaloa) and Los Mochis (Sonora), Guadalajara (Jalisco); Morelia (Michoacán); San Jerónimo (Oaxaca); Tonala, Tapachula, Suchiapa, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Arriga and Pichucalco (Chiapas); Tejería and Minatitlán (Veracruz); Villahermosa (Tabasco); San Miguel Cozumel (Quintana Roo); Guadalupe (Zacatecas); León (Guanajuato); Cuantla (Morelos). There are also numerous airports under construction, and a dozen makeshift camps.