Mexico consumption

For Mexico, which does not produce all the natural gas it needs, the benefits of importing from the US are clear – it’s cheaper, it’s cleaner and it’s going to bring lower tariffs for manufacturers more quickly than continuing to rely on costly fuel oil.

But what about the other side of the bargain? What’s in it for the US? Read more

Mexico’s auto exports are roaring: new data from the Mexican Auto Industry Association showed record-breaking figures for the fourth straight year, and domestic sales at their highest level since 2007.

Mexico is now undoubtedly a world car production power and has seen a surge in investmentMazda, the Japanese carmaker, has just opened a new plant. Mind you, some commentators, like Carlos Mota writing in El Financiero, believe Mexico needs to build a national auto brand – a Mexican Tata or Daewoo, say – to really become a global force. Read more

Heineken, which bills itself as “the world’s most international brewer”, is stepping up its drive into the premium beer market in Mexico. It’s going to be tough, for two reasons.

First, beer is ubiquitous in Mexico – and very, very cheap (a bottle of beer is not far off the price of a bottle of water). So persuading consumers to switch from their cheap lager of choice to a premium brand, at higher cost, sounds like a tough sell. (To put that into perspective – premium brand beers only account less than 5 per cent of Mexico’s $7.5bn beer market, Heineken says.)

The second hurdle is competition: Heineken, which bought Mexico’s No. 2 brewer Femsa Cerveza in 2010 (and has a stable that also includes Tecate, Dos Equis, Sol, Bohemia and Indio), is up against the larger Modelo brewery (maker of Corona and Estrella beer), which was taken over this year by Belgium’s AB InBev and has 58 per cent of the market to Heineken’s 41 per cent. Read more

If Mexico’s strong economic recovery since the 2009 recession has been about manufacturing and exports, the latest data suggest that from now on it is going to be about consumption.

That is the message from figures for the last three months of 2012, which show that growth between October and December was 0.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms compared with the previous three months (in the third quarter, the figure was just 0.4 per cent). Read more