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U.S. Construction Equipment Exports Rise

Posted on February 27, 2013

Exports of U.S.-made construction equipment grew 13% in 2012 compared to the previous year for a total $26.7 billion, according to information from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

AEM noted that the 13% gain for 2012 followed 43% growth in 2011 and a 28% rise in 2010. Those improvements followed a 38% plunge in 2009 during the depths of the recession.

"Exports have been called a bright spot for the U.S. economy, and this has been especially true for construction equipment manufacturers,” said Al Cervero, AEM vice president and construction sector leader. “Exports have been essential to our industry's rebound as we continue to struggle with uneven U.S. markets."

South America and Asia reporting the weakest gains from the previous year, AEM reported. Construction equipment exports to Asia grew 2% compared to the previous year for a total $3.2 billion, while exports to South America increased 6% to $4.6 billion.

Central America's purchases of U.S. construction equipment gained 13% for a total $2.3 billion, while exports to Europe also grew 13% to $3.2 billion. Meanwhile exports to Africa increased 14% to $1.5 billion.

Exports of U.S. construction machinery to Canada gained 12% for a total $8.1 billion and exports to Australia/Oceania jumped 42% to $3.9 billion. Sales shrunk in two of the more high-profile equipment markets, as sales to China fell 25% to $680 million and Brazil sales dropped 7% to $886 million.

The top 10 export destinations for American-made construction machinery in 2012 by dollar volume were: Canada - $8.1 billion; Australia - $3.8 billion; Mexico - $1.8 billion; Chile - $1.7 billion; South Africa - $894 million; Brazil - $886 million, down 7 percent; Belgium - $806 million; Peru - $779 million; Russia - $715 million; and China - $680 million.