Overview - Commodity Flows

What is the importance of measuring commodity flows?

An integral part of the entire system of land ports of entry, the Arizona-Sonora border ports of entry play a pivotal role in facilitating trade exchanges between the U.S. and Mexico. The top ten U.S. states that export goods to Mexico through the Arizona-Sonora border ports of entry in 2015 included: Arizona, California, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, and Washington. In terms of imports from Mexico, the following are the top ten U.S. states that utilized Arizona’s border ports of entry: Michigan, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut, and Texas. The dynamics of commodity flows reflect the composite effects of both the national and local border-specific economies. Also reflected in commodity flow dynamics are the physical and human infrastructure capacities of border ports of entry.

What is measured?

Commodity flows include all imports and exports between the U.S. and Mexico that move through Arizona-Sonora border ports of entry. In addition to the total dollar value of all commodities, data are specifically provided for the three most important commodities: electric and electronic products, machinery and equipment products, and Mexico-grown fresh produce. Data for each category are presented individually for each Arizona border port of entry, and as in summary for all six border ports of entry. When combined, Arizona’s six ports of entry comprise the Nogales District. Within this district, the border port of Nogales facilitates the largest value and volume of commodities. 

How competitive are Arizona's BPOE?

To gauge Arizona’s relative competitiveness in the U.S.-Mexico border region, the dynamics of northbound commodity flows (U.S. imports from Mexico) and southbound commodity flows (U.S. exports to Mexico) are compared with a selected number of major ports of entry in Texas and California. Data are provided on monthly and annual bases with indices of percentage change between observed periods.

Photo of container terminal at dusk, work cranes and forklift courtesy of Shutterstock.

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