2008 still a record year for exports

March 2009 Vol. 64 No. 3

According to statistics published by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), U.S. construction equipment exports totaled more than $20.7 billion for 2008, a 20 percent gain over 2007.

South America and Asia were among the market leaders for purchases of American-made construction machinery. AEM consolidates U.S. Commerce Department data for off-road equipment with other sources into quarterly export trend reports.

“Global trade, especially to emerging markets, was a mainstay of our resurgence in recent years,” noted AEM senior vice president Al Cervero. “Obviously the situation is much different today. Our industry sector, as with the manufacturing community overall, has been devastated by the abrupt downturn in 2008. These export results were helped by trading terms such as letters of credit, which kept goods in the delivery pipeline.”

Export sales to South America grew 44 percent in 2008 for a total of $3.3 billion compared to 2007. Asia took delivery of $3 billion worth of U.S. construction equipment, an increase of 25 percent and exports to Central America grew 19 percent in 2008, for a total of $2 billion. Export business to Europe gained 11 percent with purchases of $3 billion in 2008 and construction machinery exports to Canada increased 13 percent for a total of $6.2 billion.