Mexican auto output up slightly in July, exports fall

Adds background, domestic sales

MEXICO CITY, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Mexican auto production edged up in July during the second full month that the key manufacturing industry has reopened following closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from national statistics agency INEGI released on Thursday.

Production in July reached 294,946 units, up 0.65% from the same month last year, the INEGI data showed.

Auto exports, meanwhile, slid 5.47% to 256,098 cars, trucks and SUVs shipped to international markets.

Since coronavirus lockdowns began in March, auto production and exports have fallen, with more than 90% drops in April and May.

But since May, the government deemed carmaking an "essential" industry, along with mining and construction, which has allowed it to begin to claw back some of its losses.

Domestic new auto sales fell 31.3% to total 72,897 units in July, down for a fifth consecutive month.

(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Steve Orlofsky)

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