Food Grade Lubricants

Despite Mexico’s large natural resource of oil and processing plants, it’s market for lubricant is open to international manufacturers. Mexico’s largest lubricant manufacturer, PEMEX is the main supplier of base materials for manufacturers (http://www.pemex.com/comercializacion/productos/Paginas/default.aspx). In spite of that, Mexico’s lubricant market is still very dependent on imports. Statistical data from OTEA shows that Mexico represented a $20.25 billion market of lubricants and $647 million of waxes for the US in 2016.

Food Grade Lubricants
This analysis concentrates in food grade lubricants, the kind contained in HS2710 and greases contained in HS3403 as there are no restriction to US imports in Mexico. According to data from the Ministry of Economy, Mexico imported $472 million of HS2710 and $4.9 million of HS3403 during 2016.

The Mexican market has an abundance of brands and food grade lubricant brands flooding the country which compete with those produced by local manufacturers.Those brands are utilized by the food and beverage industries. Any food grade lubricant sold in Mexico will be NSF and USDA compliant for the same FDA chapter 21 standards and regulations apply in Mexico.

H1 through H3 type lubricants are currently in use at mostly any of the large manufacturers of deli meats, cookies, candies, breads, snacks, etc. The diversity of brands include Exxon Mobil, CRC, Jet-Lube, Bio Circle, Molykote, Fuchs, among others.

A large number of distributors along the Mexican territory cluster in the main Mexican cities, with Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. Other cities with minor activity, but still important, are located in Sonora, Queretaro and Guanajuato.

Selling in Mexico
We have always recommended foreign exporters to connect with local distributors as opposed to a direct sales kind of strategy. Large users in the food & beverage, animal food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, natural and recreational products, all have established their supply chain through domestic distributors and most any distributor is also an importer. Very few manufacturers are importers and manage their purchasing on web based platforms; foreign exporters may apply or register from abroad directly on those web based platforms. Registered companies may be required to make DAP deliveries (Deliver at Place) causing expenses that may bring prices to a non-competitive level.

Benefits of working through distributors.
A brand new product has more opportunities to penetrate large areas through local distributors who have supply contracts in place with their large clients. Although we recommend to split Mexico in three or five large territories, some of the distributors have country wide presence or capabilities to sell in the whole territory. Importer distributors in Mexico are responsible for gathering all of the import documentation, licenses, labeling and payment of taxes and other liabilities.

Where to start?
There are agencies available for the foreign exporter which facilitate their connection with local partners through matchmaking agendas, company/product presentation or B2B events. Leave a comment here for for information.

Annex

2016 Exports to Mexico of HS SOAP ETC; WAXES, POLISH ETC; CANDLES; DENTAL PREPS

Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA), Industry and Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
HS SOAP ETC; WAXES, POLISH ETC; CANDLES; DENTAL PREPS Exports to Mexico

Item 2014 2015 2016
TOTAL 660,019,720 662,169,678 647,214,434
3403–LUBRICATING PREPS, ANTIRUST & TREATING TEXILES ETC 222,650,623 247,042,918 244,911,685
3402–ORGANIC SURF-ACT AGENTS, PREPS & CLEANING PREPS 285,471,417 256,034,366 238,105,759
3404–ARTIFICIAL AND PREPARED WAXES 72,366,455 80,069,630 80,504,886
3401–SOAP; ORGANIC SURF-ACT PREP FOR SOAP USE, BARS ETC 53,991,733 52,492,477 54,571,107
3405–POLISHES & CREAMS FOR LEATHER, WOOD ETC, SCOUR PRP 14,576,757 15,740,760 20,766,796
3406–CANDLES, TAPERS AND THE LIKE 7,013,333 5,641,200 4,877,213
3407–MODELING PASTES FOR CHILD ETC; DENTA IMPR CP ETC 3,949,402 5,148,327 3,476,988
Source: Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau.
2016 Exports to Mexico of HS 27–MINERAL FUEL, OIL ETC.; BITUMIN SUBST; MINERAL WAX
Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (OTEA), Industry and Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
HS 27–MINERAL FUEL, OIL ETC.; BITUMIN SUBST; MINERAL WAX Exports to Mexico
Item
2014
2015
2016
TOTAL
23,682,827,968
18,036,955,964
20,250,336,685
2710–OIL (NOT CRUDE) FROM PETROL & BITUM MINERAL ETC.
18,490,702,602
14,339,804,728
16,271,300,378
2711–PETROLEUM GASES & OTHER GASEOUS HYDROCARBONS
4,187,996,494
2,963,986,854
3,366,226,189
2713–PETROLEUM COKE, PETROLEUM BITUMEN & OTHER RESIDUES
374,047,983
325,290,175
290,738,900
2701–COAL; BRIQUETTES, OVOIDS ETC. MFR FROM COAL
366,998,109
258,294,287
146,267,989
2704–COKE ETC OF COAL, LIGNITE OR PEAT; RETORT CARBON
56,143,428
29,463,967
85,830,300
2712–PETROLEUM JELLY; MINERAL WAXES & SIMILAR PRODUCTS
89,531,482
44,799,903
36,910,146
2707–OILS ETC FROM HIGH TEMP COAL TAR; SIM AROMATIC ETC
82,734,056
50,040,128
31,189,390
2703–PEAT (INCLUDING PEAT LITTER), INCL AGGLOMRTD
6,086,087
6,584,614
9,182,727
2715–BIT MIX FR NAT ASPH, NAT BIT,PET BIT,MIN TAR OR PT
9,861,883
6,035,755
6,830,212
2714–BITUMEN & ASPHALT, NATURAL; SHALE & TAR SANDS ETC.
17,338,822
11,165,909
4,166,307
2702–LIGNITE, AGGLOMERATED OR NOT, EXCLUDING JET
970,123
1,134,778
1,064,985
2708–PITCH & PITCH COKE FROM COAL TAR OR OTHER MIN TARS
369,204
265,620
540,348
2706–MINERAL TARS, INCLUDING RECONSTITUTED TARS
47,695
44,368
56,651
2705–COAL GS,WTR GS, PRDCR GS ETC, EX PET GS A OTH GS H
0
44,878
32,163
2709–CRUDE OIL FROM PETROLEUM AND BITUMINOUS MINERALS
0
0
0

Source: Foreign Trade Division, U.S. Census Bureau.

Outstanding Distributors

Mexico Jalisco Nuevo Leon Bajio
Metatron
Holz Chemical
Grupo Iridium
AV Soluciones Ints.
Exxon Mobil
Global Lubrication
Suministros Mecanicos
Texas Refinery
Belktron
Interlub
Industrias de Occidente
Akron
Lubrite
Total Mexico
Power TAD
JOMS de Mexico
XTRA Lubric
GMC Lub
Lufhissa
AKRON
Clensa
Grupo Ornelas 
Kluber
Fuchs
Tribology
Lubri-Lab Mexico
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