American Construction Equipment Exports Grow Slowly

Exports of U.S.-made construction equipment grew 13 percent in 2012.

March 6, 2013
CDR Staff
Equipment & Products Forecasts & Statistics

Exports of U.S.-made construction equipment increased by 13 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year for a total $26.7 billion, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), citing U.S. Commerce Dept. data it uses in global markets reports for members.

While that may seem like good news for the U.S. and its trade deficit, AEM notes that the 13 percent gain for 2012 follows 43 percent growth in 2011 and 28 percent growth in 2010. The growth in those two years followed a financial crisis-related decline of 38 percent in 2009.

"Exports have been called a bright spot for the U.S. economy, and this has been especially true for construction equipment manufacturers,” says 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. With this global slowing and continued domestic market uncertainties, it’s more important than ever for our lawmakers to enact job-creating export and manufacturing policies.”

U.S. construction equipment exports to Asia grew 2 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year for a total of $3.2 billion, while exports to South America increased 6 percent to total $4.6 billion.

Central America’s purchases of U.S. construction equipment gained 13 percent for a total $2.3 billion; exports to Europe also grew 13 percent and totaled $3.2 billion; and exports to Africa increased 14 percent to $1.5 billion.

The top 10 export destinations for American-made construction machinery in 2012 by dollar volume were:

  1. Canada - $8.1 billion, up 12 percent;
  2. Australia - $3.8 billion, up 43 percent;
  3. Mexico - $1.8 billion, up 13 percent;
  4. Chile - $1.7 billion, up 25 percent;
  5. South Africa - $894 million, up 31 percent;
  6. Brazil - $886 million, down 7 percent;
  7. Belgium - $806 million, up 43 percent;
  8. Peru - $779 million, up 36 percent;
  9. Russia - $715 million, up 10 percent; and
  10. China - $680 million, down 25 percent.