(Bloomberg) -- Global goods trade is struggling to accelerate in most corners of the world economy this year — with one big exception: Chinese goods flowing into Mexico. 

After jumping almost 35% in 2023 from a year earlier, the number of containers shipped to Mexico from China surged 60% in January, according to a blog post Thursday by Oslo-based Xeneta, which analyzes ocean and air freight markets. The figures cited are from Container Trades Statistics.

“This is probably the strongest-growing trade in the world right now,” Xeneta chief analyst Peter Sand wrote.

The reason, he suggested, has more to do with tariff avoidance than a growing demand from Mexican consumers and businesses to purchase Chinese products.

“With a sizeable portion of these goods likely being trucked into the US, it gives rise to the possibility that China’s increase in trade with Mexico is being used to circumvent tariffs placed on imports from China to the US as part of the ongoing trade war,” Sand said.

Sand drew up a hypothetical scenario where the January growth rates in shipments from China to the US West Coast and China to Mexico are fixed into the future. “By the year 2031, more containers will move between China and Mexico than between China and the US West Coast,” he wrote.

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