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Far Eastern Mexico.

U.S. IMPORTERS OF JAPANESE ELECTRONIC circuits, batteries and high-tech cargo are finding that the best way to get their cargo into North American markets is through Mexico.

From early 1998 to the end of 1999, the amount of U.S.-bound cargo coming from the Far East going through Mexican ports jumped by close to 40%, according to the first U.S. government report including data on these shipments.

According to the U.S. Maritime Administration report, most of that cargo, by value, includes electronic circuits, batteries and data processing machines.

"This is a trend that's been getting stronger," says Tom Boyd, a spokesman for Maersk Sealand, the world's biggest container shipping line. "With all of the Wal-Marts and other stores in Mexico, it's become more of a popular straight run for lines. It's a great consumption market."

In addition, a lot of the electronics equipment, Boyd says, is used in the automobile industry.

Shipping lines have found it easier and cheaper to drop off some cargo in Mexico from Asia and truck the goods to the United States instead of continuing to U.S. ports or transshipping the cargo onto ships heading to those ports.

Blank tapes, electronics and ethyl alcohol account for the biggest volume of cargo brought to a Mexican port and then reshipped to the United States. These U.S. imports amounted to about 262,000 metric tons of goods worth about US$2.63 billion in 1999, the last year for which numbers are available.

The leading U.S. entry point for the cargo is Laredo, Texas, but the fastest growing port is Tampa, Florida.
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Publication:Latin Trade
Date:Aug 1, 2001
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