Mexico - Country Commercial Guide
Plastics and Resins
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The plastics and resins industry is a best prospect for U.S. exporters in Mexico. This section includes a market overview and trade data for the sector.


Mexico’s plastics market represents a strong opportunity for U.S. exporters due to its many applications in various sectors and final products. Plastic products and resins count among the top two U. S. export categories to Mexico in 2022. Mexico is also the largest destination for U.S plastics, processing machinery, equipment, and peripherals.

Mexico’s plastics production has grown steadily at an average of 5.27 percent annually since 2018. Mexico experienced a significant shortage of resins (a consequence of a slowdown in primary industries) that coincide with an increase in customer orders. Nevertheless, manufacturers maintained timely production and delivery schedules and production of plastics grew by 13 percent compared to the previous year. Mexico’s total plastics imports reached USD 41.52 billion in 2022, 61 percent (USD 22.6 billion) of which came from the United States.  

Mexico’s plastics industry is doing well despite the recent global slowdown in 2022, inflation, and an overall slow recovery of the Mexican economy. Positive factors for this industry include a burst in nearshoring activity and new orders received from the United States and Canada driven by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Mexico’s plastic industry was valued at USD 52 billion in 2022, with opportunities for continued U.S. participation in selling capital equipment, resins, plastic materials, plastic parts, and molds. Producers also consider recycling technologies as the industry is under pressure to create sustainable products to satisfy worldwide environmental commitments. Consequently, companies are developing bioplastics as an alternative to reduce non-recyclable waste. 

Growth in the automotive, aerospace, and other leading industries will likely continue to create opportunities for U.S. exports of manufactured parts and new engineering materials. Additionally, food and beverage related packaging, as well as construction subsectors, are seeing an increased grow in the demand for plastics.

Table 1: Mexico’s Plastics and Resins Production and Market Size  
(Figures in USD Billions) 







Total Local Production






Total Exports






Total Imports






Imports from the U.S.






Total Market Size*






Exchange Rates






*Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports
Sources: INEGI; **2023 estimate of market growth of 1.8 percent, from the IMF

Leading Sub-Sectors

Mexico’s plastics sub-sectors are capital equipment, plastic resins, plastic materials and parts, and plastic recycling.


Many companies in this sub-sector compete to supply the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automotive, and medical device manufacturing industries. Plastic packaging products used in the food and beverage industry are manufactured locally. However, specialized containers, pallets, totes, and bins with electrostatic discharged coatings utilized in production and final packing products represent opportunities for foreign manufacturers. Thermoformed plastics packaging is also in high demand.


Representing 12 percent of market demand, plastic products built for the construction industry are good prospects for sales in Mexico. In the last few years, Mexico’s construction industry has switched from being traditionally metal based to integrating plastics in water and gas piping, windows, doors, roofing tiles, and coverings. In the construction industry it is expected that there will be more plastic products with the adoption of alternative building techniques.

Auto Parts

Plastics and rubber products have helped the automotive industry reach its goal to reduce vehicle weight by 30 percent, and demand continues to increase. Corporate buyers make decisions to purchase auto parts, and any U.S. exporter currently selling to automotive firms in the United States is the first option to supply Mexican plants.


Furniture is a large and growing subsector. While the sector is still developing and may not be a top prospect for U.S. exporters right now, the proliferation of plastic products for the recreation industry will likely continue to drive growth in this sector.


The use of plastic pipe and films for agriculture has grown alongside the proliferation of small local manufacturers. These producers largely use recycled plastics as feedstock, which many collect and process themselves.


Non-woven textiles are very popular in the recreation industry. During the COVID-19 pandemic these became even more popular, as they serve as raw material for many medical protective garments. Non-woven polypropylene fabric is also popular in mining for its tensile strength and high resistance to acids and alkalis. There are a good number of Mexican manufacturers of non-woven fibers.


Below are some highlights of the opportunities based on current demand in Mexico for U.S. exports.

Capital Equipment

Mexican manufacturers have a keen preference for U.S. extrusion machinery and technology. The most popular imports from the United States include auxiliary equipment for plastics processing. Mexico’s plastics manufacturers are mainly looking for extruders, blenders, mixers, and automation solutions for primary and secondary plastics processing.

Plastic Resins

In 2022, Mexico’s international purchases of plastic resins worldwide totaled USD 41.52 billion. Large foreign suppliers of plastic resins have opportunities to sell to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). OEM deals are managed by headquarter-based buyers who concentrate on purchasing decisions worldwide. Small and medium-sized suppliers are better off selling to tier manufacturers. Small U.S. exporters of resin should target the numerous small and medium-sized manufacturers operating throughout Mexico.

Plastics Recycling

Mexico is recognized as a leader in Latin America when it comes to Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling and recovers 59 percent of PET bottles intnded for recycling circulated in the market. For this reason, Mexico is not a good market for foreign PET sales since it is more cost-effective to source locally. It is estimated that Mexico recycles close to two million tons of plastic annualy. Most large Mexican companies recycle in-house for their own consumption to assure compliance with health and environmental standards. Plastic recycling technologies and high purity recycles will be in demand for the near future.


Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico (ANIPAC)


National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI)


U.S. Dept. of Commerce Trade Stats Express


Manufactura Magazine


Ingenieria Plástica


Plastics Technology Mexico


Ecología y Compromiso Empresarial, A. C. (ECOCE)



  • Meximold, Querétaro Centro de Congresos, October 11-12, 2023. Querétaro City, Querétaro
  • Plastimagen Mexico 2023, Centro Citibanamex, November 7-10, 2023. Mexico City
  • Residuos Expo, Centro Citibanamex, March 5-7, 2024. Mexico City, Mexico
  • Expo Pack, Expo Santa Fe, June 4-7, 2024. Mexico City, Mexico
  • Expo Plásticos 2023, Expo Guadalajara, November 5-7, 2024. Guadalajara, Jalisco


For more information on plastics and resins in Mexico, please contact:

Yasmin Rojas

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service —Monterrey

Tel.: +52 (81) 8047- 3450