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News Article

Mexico: Top 5 Exporter of Medical Products

By Sofía Hanna | Wed, 01/13/2021 - 12:44

The latest World Trade Organization (WTO) report showcased the main exporters of critical medical products to combat COVID-19 in 2020. Mexico took fifth place right after the Netherlands.

The WTO report highlighted the 10 countries that exported the most medical products to combat COVID-19, staring with China (US$54 million), the US (US$23 million), Germany (US$16 million), the Netherlands (US$10 million), Mexico (US$6 million), Japan (US$5.8 million), Belgium (US$5.5 million), France (US$5.2 million), Malaysia (US$4.4 million) and Ireland (US$4.2 million), as reported by El Financiero.

This market fluctuated throughout the year following the start of the global lockdown. However, the year brought good results to the countries involved. The market experienced a decrease of 14 percent in revenue due to confinements. After the initial hit passed, there was a 16 percent increase against 2019, which surpassed the 2 percent growth registered in 2019 against 2018. Products in this category include disinfectants, face masks, gloves, hand soaps, oximeters, glasses, sterilizers and ventilators.

In Mexico, sales of this type of medical equipment grew 8.4 percent against 2019. The country represents 3.3 percent of the exports of critical products against COVID-19 worldwide, according to the WTO report. Kenneth Smith, a former NAFTA-USMCA negotiator, mentioned at pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing forums that this recognition will help Mexico to attract new projects and to negotiate new treaties, reports El Financiero.

"When a country exports services and goods in which it has an advantage in production, higher profits from foreign sales of these goods and services attract productive resources (workers, investment, machinery and equipment and research). This reallocation of resources results in greater productivity of the economy as a whole, which, in turn, induces further economic growth," stated Mariana Galindo and Viridiana Ríos in a Harvard Scholar paper. Overall, Mexico's exports increased by 2.9 percent in October, reaching US$41.9 billion, the highest level recorded since 1991, as previously reported by MBN. Trade figures, in general, remained positive for over five months.

The country with the largest gap between exports of COVID-19 critical goods in the first half of 2019 and the first half of 2020 was China, which grew the share of these types of exports from 12 percent to almost 30 percent. The best-sold products worldwide were medicine (53 percent), followed by medical supplies (16 percent), PPE (18 percent), medical equipment (13 percent), facemasks (12.6 percent), hand sanitizer (3 percent), hand soap (2.1 percent) and other protective covers (0.3 percent). PPE was the segment that saw the largest increase in sales in 2020 against 2019, according to the WTO report.

China was not only the No. 1 country in exports but also the country that supplied the most facemasks, accounting for 56 percent of the world's total export value (US$70 billion).

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
WTO, MBN, El Financiero, Harvard
Sofía Hanna Sofía Hanna Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst