China is now top exporter to U.S.

China has displaced Mexico as a top exporter to the U.S., according to a U. S. Department of Commerce report.

In January, Mexico exported $12.1 billion in goods to the U.S., an 8.4% increase over the same period in 2004. At the same time China's exports to the U.S. soared to $17.8 billion, a hefty 27% growth.

"Growth in demand helped push Mexico's exports to the U.S.," says Eduardo Nolasco, an analyst with Banamex, "but exports from China to the U.S. are making the most out of that demand."

Mexico also showed a $2.9 billion trade surplus in January, which was down 2.2% percent for the same month last year. China showed a $15.2 billion dollar surplus, up 32.9% year over year.

Mexico's chief exports were high-tech electronics, machinery, vehicles, auto parts and oil, with a marked decrease in apparel and shoe exports.

"The decrease in the purchase of Mexican products is contrasting with the increase shown by Chinese products, except in the auto parts industry, where China is still no match for Mexico," notes Nolasco.

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