Exports of U.S.-made construction machinery gained 24 percent at mid-year 2008 compared to the first half of 2007, for a total of more than $10 billion dollars worth of equipment shipped to global markets, according to data released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
All major world regions recorded double-digit growth except Central America, with a 3-percent increase. Africa led the way with a 59-percent gain followed by South America with an increase of 30 percent. The AEM trade group consolidates U.S. Commerce Department data with other sources into a quarterly global export trends report for members.
Africa purchased $692 million worth of U.S.-made construction equipment, a gain of 59 percent over January to June 2007. South America took delivery of $1.4 billion worth of construction machinery, a 30 percent increase over its 2007 first-half purchases. Exports to Central America totaled $838 million, a gain of 3 percent. Exports of construction equipment bound for Asia totaled $1.35 billion, a 16-percent increase compared to the first half of 2008. And exports to Australia/Oceania rose 19 percent to total $856 million for the first half of 2008.
Europe recorded purchases of $1.6 billion dollars worth of construction equipment, a 21-percent gain, and construction machinery exports to Canada increased 28 percent for January to June 2008 totaling $3.35 billion.
“Exports remain a bright spot for the U.S. construction equipment manufacturing industry in these uncertain times, and whoever is elected president in November needs to focus on passage of free and fair trade agreements that eliminate barriers to commerce across borders,” noted AEM Senior Vice President Al Cervero.
“The lack of U.S. infrastructure investment is eroding America’s position as a global economic power as nations around the world substantially increase their commitments to modern transportation networks. In the United States, traffic gridlock is estimated to cost $78 billion dollars a year on the American economy and productivity, in addition to adverse effects on safety and the environment. Federal legislators must take this issue seriously, and invest adequately for current and future needs as part of a longer term comprehensive strategy,” he added.
The 10 countries buying the most U.S.-made construction machinery during the first half of 2008 were: (1) Canada — $3.35 billion, up 28 percent; (2) Australia — $824 million, up 18 percent; (3) Mexico $544.5 million, down 7 percent; (4) Chile — $406 million, up 17 percent; (5) South Africa — $369 million, up 47 percent; (6) Belgium — $362 million, up 9 percent; (7) Brazil — $258 million, up 59 percent; (8) Singapore — $235 million, up 48 percent; (9) Russia — $231 million, up 40 percent; (10) Colombia — $230 million, up 44 percent. Coming in at number 11 was China with $224 million, a 30-percent decline.
For more information, call 866/AEM-0442 or visit www.aem.org.