Rock to Road

U.S. construction equipment exports down

June 8, 2015  By  Andrew Macklin

June 8, 2015 – Exports of U.S.-made construction equipment declined 14.9 percent for first quarter 2015 compared to first quarter 2014, with a total $3.65 billion shipped to global markets.

Canada represented the smallest decline, and was one of only two global regions where the decline was not greater than 10 per cent. AEM cited U.S. Department of Commerce data it uses in global market reports for members.

Canada continues to be the largest importer of U.S. construction equipment by a large margain, importing over three times more than the closest continental importer, and nearly five times more than the next highest importer by country.

First quarter 2015 U.S. construction equipment exports by major world regions compared to first quarter 2014:

  • Canada dropped 4.6 percent, for a total $1.5 billion
  • South America declined 26 percent, for a total $482.5 million
  • Asia decreased 15.8 percent, for a total $458.2 million
  • Europe dropped 6.6 percent, for a total $433.1 million
  • Central America fell 15.3 percent, for a total $382.7 million
  • Australia/Oceania fell 23 percent to $179 million
  • Africa decreased 43.3 percent to $210.1 million 

AEM Market Analysis Overview

AEM’s Benjamin Duyck, director of market intelligence, provides some insights:

The 1st quarter of 2015 marked the 9th consecutive quarter that U.S. construction equipment exports experienced year-over-year declines, while imports continue to increase.

This can be partially explained by the stable U.S. market and the strong dollar, making U.S. equipment manufacturers less competitive. Opposing the strong dollar is a weaker euro that is also driving European exports.

Overall, the Q1 2015 trade deficit has subtracted 1.9 percent from GDP growth, the largest subtraction in 30 years. While the current currency issue is a long term one, recent exports also have suffered a short-term setback with the West Coast port dispute earlier this year.

While the U.S. experienced declines in exports to most major trading partners, exports to Vietnam, Turkey, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, France and Argentina increased significantly.

Exports by Top 10 Countries

The top countries buying the most U.S.-made construction machinery during first quarter 2015 (by dollar volume) were:

  • Canada – $1.5 billion, down 4.6 percent
  • Mexico – $310.3 million, down 16.1 percent
  • Australia – $164 million, down 24.5 percent
  • Brazil – $134 million, down 16.2 percent
  • Chile – $116.7 million, down 40.8 percent
  • South Africa – $116.4 million, down 51.8 percent
  • Peru – $101.9 million, down 30.7 percent
  • Belgium – $73.1 million, down 25.4 percent
  • China – $70.1 million, down 34.6 percent
  • South Korea – $64.9 million, down 10.9 percent  

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