In this post we will talk about the key aspects of exporting textile to Mexico.

Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world, with a total area of 1.949.494 km2, and it borders with the USA and Guatemala. It has a GDP of 22 million USD and a real growth rate of 2.3%, 0.9% higher than in 2013. The service sector that includes the textile production represents more than 62.4% of the country’s total GDP. Besides this, free trade agreements have been signed with the USA and other 46 countries, which has improved the flux of import and export in the country, especially in the textile sector.

What do we know about its textile industry?

Mexico’s textile industry is very important for the country, as it provides 6% of the total GDP and 20% of the industrial sector’s jobs. In 2014, 3,278,520 (el original pone 3.278.52 millones de dólares) dollars, which meant 11% growth compared to the previous year and 13.08% growth between 2009 and 2011. It must be emphasised that for the last few years, the number of imports exceeds the exports. China and the USA are the main providers of clothes, both knitwear and non-knitwear, followed by Asian countries, whose clothes have a lower quality and price. In 2014, Spain was in the 28th position in terms of knitwear and the 10th in terms of non-knitwear.

Imports of knitwear and non-knitwear clothes (million USD).

Puesto País 2014 País 2014
1 China


China 551
2 Estados Unidos 250,13 Estados Unidos 174,43
3 Vietnam 107,42 Vietnam 109,11
4 Bangladesh 99,95 India 95,52
5 India 89,69 Bangladesh 86,56
6 Honduras 88,89 Turquía 51,98
7 Portugal 51,73 Marruecos 51,48
8 Camboya 47,29 Italia 43,72
9 Turquía 43,64 Indonesia 40,07
10 Indonesia 41,41 España 38,21
28 España 17,08

Source: Tariff Information System via internet of the Ministry of Economy.

Exporting textile to Mexico

The Mexican market looks attractive to the Spanish firms that want to export. Here are some of their reasons:

Mexico is the 11th most densely populated country in the world, with 119 million inhabitants. The textile sector is important for Mexican economy, as it is opening more and more to the world. Local producers are small firms and are focused on a low to low-medium average purchasing power. The Government is carrying out policies that reduce the cases of smuggling and that avoid the informal market of clothes. Moreover, there are no tariff barriers. Spain has a good position in terms of the import value and of its market share. If we analyse the evolution of sales of the retail sector in the last few years, we can see how it hasn’t stopped growing. It reached 12,942,89 (el original pone12.942,89 millones) dollars in 2014, which involves a 8.25% growth compared to the previous year.

Sales of clothes in the retail sector

ventas_textil_minoristaSource: ICEX 2015 report in Mexico


Factors to consider when exporting textile to Mexico

Analysing the consumer’s profile, we can segment the market based on different variables, mainly:

  • Based on purchasing power: 10% of households gathers 37.8% of the country’s incomes, 30% gathers 36,63% and 60% gathers 25,57% of the total income.
  • Based on age: young people choose more avant-garde and modern tendencies, so they are the target for advertising and marketing campaigns.
  • Based on gender: within the textile industry in Mexico, we need to highlight the male sector, as a great growth in demand has been forecast. They increasingly worry about fashion and image. In this segment of the population, the most demanded products are jeans, with 787 million USD sales in 2014. These are followed by T-shirts and trousers, both long and short. Jackets and coats and a current trend, too. As far as the female sector is concerned, the most demanded product in 2014 were T-shirts, followed by jeans, jackets and coats. In terms of growth, leggings and Premium jeans demand is going up.
  • Based on sizes: we need to take into account that obesity is one of the most serious problems in the country, as 34% of the population was suffering from it in 2014. Besides this, women’s average height is 1.54m and men’s is 1.64m, below 40 years old. This involves that the most demanded size is Medium, and that the Small size is reasonably less demanded than in Spain.
  • We need to consider the weather and the climate, too. Mexico has mainly two seasons, winter and summer, but they are less extreme than in Europe, due to its tropical climate with softer temperatures.

Other important variables in the exporting process are tariffs to imported products. However, EU members signed a Free Trade Agreement in 1997, so they don’t have to pay for that.

Based on distribution: there are several channels used to export textile to Mexico. When making decisions about the distribution network, the size of the firm, the industry and the locations need to be considered. According to ICEX, the most popular points of sale in Mexico are departmental stores and shopping malls, which represent a 38% of the total sales in the textile sector. The main departmental stores are: Palacio del Hierro, Liverpool, Sears and Suburbia, which are different in terms of the type of consumer.

When exporting textile to Mexico, it is necessary to do networking, so an advertising campaign is essential. First, preparing a digital marketing strategy through social networks and positioning on the Internet. It would be important to create attractive and high quality content that catches users’ attention, and which allows us to know if the strategy that is being used is the right one. The most popular social networks in Mexico, according to an AMIPCI (Mexican Internet Association) report are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It is also fundamental to own a website, which needs to be adapted to mobile phones and tablets, as these devices are increasingly used to search online. We have to bear in mind that E-commerce is an attractive way to be present in the online market.

Equally, we should be aware of events and trade shows of the textile sector.

Intermoda in Guadalajara: International fashion show. Last tendencies and collections are presented to buyers, and it allows establishing trade relations in the international level.intermoda


exintexExintex  Puebla: International textile Fair. It’s one of the most important events in the textile industry of Mexico. Among the visitors, there are buyers from retail companies that are internationally known.