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AEM mid-year report: construction equipment exports up 24 percent


August 29, 2008
By Andy Bateman

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
Milwaukee, Wisconsin based Association of Equipment Manufacturers
(AEM).

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.

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-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
totalled $838 million, a gain of 3 percent. 

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Exports of construction equipment bound
for Asia totalled $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 c
onstruction machinery exports to Canada increased 28 percent
for January-June 2008 and totalled $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.