Latin Americas merchandise trade tripled in just one decade, reaching $1.9 trillion in 2011, with emerging markets, and China in particular, representing a growing part of that trade, Andre Loes, chief economist for Latin America at HSBC Bank Brasil S.A. Banco Multiplo, wrote in a report.
China was the main export destination for products from Brazil, Chile and Peru in 2011 and could surpass the US as the largest trade destination for the whole region by 2030, Loes said.
Mexico stands out in the region, as it has developed a vibrant and competitive industrial trade specialization, integrated with the US economy, he added.
HSBC believes Mexico could be the main supplier of merchandise to the US as early as 2018.
Exports of manufactured goods from Mexico to the US increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.25% per year between 2001 and 2011, to $197.5 million.
Latin Americas second-largest economy is the worlds biggest exporter of flat screens and refrigerators, silver, tomatoes, avocados and papayas, according to the HSBC research.
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The US accounted for 79% of Mexicos exports in 2011, and for 50% of its imports. Asia supplied around 26% of Mexicos imports, with China supplying 58% of those.
Finally, the HSBC analysts noted, Mexico is by far the most open large economy of Latin America, with a total trade to gross domestic product ratio of over 60%, compared with just 36% of GDP in Latin America on average.
In emerging Europe, exports plus imports represent 63% of GDP while in developing Asia they rise to 72%.