Trade Report. Maersk Group. Thrust needed to diversify exports MEXICO SECOND QUARTER 2016

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1 Maersk Group Trade Report SECOND QUARTER 2016 MEXICO Thrust needed to diversify exports Low growth in container traffic in Mexico - from 8% in 2015 to 1.4% during the first months of Analysts expect more expensive dollar nearing the end of year which exporters will need to take advantage of in order to reduce dependence on the US. During the first half of the year, Mexico saw a significant slowdown in the growth of container traffic, registering a mere increase of 1.4% which is significantly lower than the 8% growth seen in From January to June 2016, import growth was at 4.1%. This growth is, however, below expectations from the previous quarter in which there was an increase of 4.5%. Meanwhile, exports suffered a decline of 2.7% during the same period. Export performance is particularly disappointing as it represents a missed opportunity to take advantage of the devaluation of the Mexico Peso. Foreign exchange market analysts report that the Peso has experienced its worst onslaught against the dollar in the last four months, with a depreciation of 5.27%, which lead to a level of MX pesos per US dollar. Meanwhile, forecasts suggest that the exchange rate could reach new highs, surpassing the 20 Pesos to the Dollar barrier. Mexican exporters should have taken advantage of the high exchange rate to look to new markets. Unfortunately, Mexico remains focused on the US market, leaving itself wide open to the impacts of what happens on the other side the border, points out Mario Veraldo, Managing Director of Maersk Line in Mexico and Central America. PAGE 1

2 Exports Exports drop, and Lazaro Cardenas faces challenges The various ports that comprise Mexico s infrastructure network performed quite differently during the first half of the year. Manzanillo in the Pacific - the largest port in Mexico - experienced a 10% drop in exports, while Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacán grew by 21%. Ensenada grew by 2%, and the three Pacific ports registered a 3.6% drop in volumes handled. On the Atlantic, Altamira saw zero growth, while Veracruz exports fell by 3.1%, leading to a combined decline of 1.2% in both ports. The dramatic drop in traffic through Manzanillo can be explained by a slump in non-oil exports to Colombia, Peru and Chile of 23%, 13% and 3% respectively. Non-oil exports to Asia also saw a decline of 4.79%. The extraordinary growth at Lazaro Cardenas can be explained by strong traffic of containers to Vietnam which has taken place since April, while the port has also gained ground by taking a significant chunk of cargo from Manzanillo. Lazaro Cardenas growth has brought about significant challenges since the increase in intermodal cargo handled by shipping lines was higher than the port s growth itself and the auto-transport share grew even faster. This has led to scarcity of transport, with delays in deliveries of full and empty containers, affecting the supply chains of the country s exporters. The situation highlights the need to improve infrastructure connecting ports with production and consumption centers, adds Mario Veraldo, Managing Director of Maersk Line in Mexico and Central America. On the Atlantic side, the drop in Veracruz can be explained by a decrease in non-oil exports to Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela of 37%, 23% and 48% respectively, which has previously been the main destinations in PAGE 2

3 Maersk Group Trade Report / Second Quarter 2016 / MEXICO Imports Brazil and Asia save the first half of the year Imports, although below expectations earlier in the year, have continued to grow in all major ports, with the exception of Ensenada which experienced an 11% decrease in volume handled during the first half of the year, especially in the automotive, electronics and supermarket segments. The main ports of the Pacific grew by 2%, slightly above the increase in non-oil imports from Asia which came in at 1.53%. Meanwhile, Ensenada s growth has tempered and it has even lost some of the volume that it gained from the ports on the West coast of the United States in Despite a 1.69% drop in non-oil imports from Europe, Altamira and Veracruz experienced extraordinary growth, reaching 8%, thanks to the 5% increase in container traffic from Europe. Another factor that stimulated growth was the increase in non-oil imports from Brazil, which grew by 9%. An additional aspect that could have affected imports is the appearance of alternative sourcing markets like Vietnam and Indonesia as a result of some companies moving the manufacture of consumer goods outside of China. PAGE 3

4 Reefer Containers: a new trend in transport Contrary to the slowdown in total containerized trade during the first four months of the year, the movement of reefer containers showed significant growth of 17%. The most prominent growth markets were Europe and Asia with an increase of 30% and 10% respectively, according to figures from Maersk Line. At a commodity level, bananas proved to be the fastest growing perishable product transported in containers, with one of the major importers being China - a country that is only 20 days away from México via one of our main routes, Veraldo added. Maersk Line expects refrigerated container exports to continue to grow, owing to the fact that Mexico has 65,626 acres available for the production of fresh and certified organic products - highly valued in the European market- and over 13,026 certified producers in this sector. In line with this Maersk Line just announced an investment on the acquisition of new reefer container equipment adding 14,800 reefers to the world s largest reefer fleet of more than 270,000 containers. In this regard, Oaxaca is one of the major producers with 15,000 acres, followed by Chiapas with 13,000 acres, and Michoacán with almost 5,000 acres, according to figures from the Mexican Ministry of Agricultural. Mexico has been recognized as number 12 on the list of the world s most prominent food exporters. Meanwhile, new rules on safety, infrastructure investments and an increase in certification of agricultural producers could propel the country to be among the top 10 worldwide. Auto industry Mexico s auto industry is mature, dynamic and continues to gain global prominence. The country is now ranked as the eighth largest producer of light vehicles, and has climbed two positions in the last two year, outpacing production in France and Spain. Currently, the automotive sector accounts for 6% of GDP and 18% of manufacturing production. It is estimated that the Mexican automotive industry will continue to grow in the future and is forecasted to reach production levels of 4 million units in 2018 and 5 million in Light vehicle companies now boast a total of 18 production complexes, located across 11 different Mexican states, with activities ranging from assembly and armor fitting, to casting and stamping vehicles and engines. Currently, more than 48 models of cars and light trucks are produced in Mexico. It is estimated that the production of heavy vehicles in Mexico will reach 196,800 vehicles in Perspectives Taking into consideration the aforementioned import and export figures during the first half of the year, we expect to see imports grow around 4.5%, while exports are set to decline by 2 %, resulting in a total container volume growth of close to 2%, explains Pablo Flores, Trade and Marketing Director for Maersk Line in Mexico and Central America. However, these figures should be treated with caution due to a number of factors that have arisen in the container transport market within recent months, such as the financial problems experience by ocean carriers resulting in large fleets of ships being stranded at sea. According to industry analysts this problem is already having an impact and its full effect on the shipping industry is still to be seen. PAGE 4

5 About Maersk Line Maersk Line is the world s largest container shipping company. Maersk Line employs 7,600 seafarers and 22,400 land based employees and operates 608 container vessels. Maersk Line serves customers through 324 offices in 115 countries. Latin America represents around 12% of Maersk Line s global volumes. About Maersk Group With offices in more than 130 countries, Maersk Group is an international business conglomerate that operates in transports, ports and energy sectors. It has as a core value to promote wellness among its collaborators and keep business and environmental sustainability in the long run. Maersk Group has about 6,800 employees in Latin America and more than 89,000 around the world. For more information or media enquire please contact: Rafael Luna Grajeda PR Consulting México 52 (155) André Mascarenhas PR Consulting Brazil PAGE 5

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