City of McAllen reaches highest trade levels

City of McAllen reaches highest trade levels
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 4:36pm

The McAllen area grew its exports in 2012 by 13% over the previous year ranking as Texas’ 9th best export market, 53rd in the country and reached its highest trade levels ever, according to the latest metro area export reports from the International Trade Administration.

The figures show the McAllen Metropolitan Statistical Area (McAllen MSA) is exporting more than ever before nearly by moving $5.2 billion in computer, electronic, appliance and other manufactured products to foreign countries – mostly to NAFTA countries like Mexico and to the Pacific rim.

The metro area’s year-over-year uptick is a significant improvement over 2011’s 3% growth and displays a continued expansion in cross-border trade. The McAllen metro area out-produced major U.S. metro areas such as Denver, Oklahoma City, Buffalo and Orlando.

The export metro area figures are for all 2012, the latest available from the ITA. In 2012, the ITA showed the McAllen area ranks in the exportation of electronic products, computer components, appliances and transportation products. The ITA rankings on metro areas are export-focused and don’t necessarily mean all exports were produced in that market, some are, but materials were exported from that market.

In Texas, Houston, Dallas-FW, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Beaumont and Laredo all exported more than McAllen, with Houston taking the top spot nationally powered by its port, airports and energy sector. In addition, Corpus Christi and Beaumont made their gains mostly on the energy industry.
If the Rio Grande Valley was one metro area, like D-FW, its exports would be about $9.8 billion and rank 5th in Texas and in the top 34 nationally. Over the last five years stats are available, 2010-2012, McAllen metro exports grew 14 percent while Brownsville metro exports were up 15 percent.

Mexico is Texas’ largest export market. The state sent some $94.8 billion in goods south of the Rio Grande in 2012, according to state stats from the ITA. Mexico was followed by Canada, China and Brazil. The state's largest export category is petroleum and coal products, accounting for $57.2 billion of Texas' 2012 total.

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