The first quarter of 2015 marked the ninth 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,” said Benjamin Duyck, AEM director of market intelligence. “Opposing the strong dollar is a weaker euro that is also driving European exports.”

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.

All world regions experienced declines, and all in double digits except Europe and Canada, with Africa the hardest hit. AEM cited U.S. Department of Commerce data it uses in global market reports for members.

“Overall, the Q1 2015 trade deficit has subtracted 1.9 percent from GDP growth, the largest subtraction in 30 years,” Duyck said. “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, he said.

Exports by World Region

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

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

Economic Resources Available

AEM’s Construction Equipment Global Markets Export report and select other reports are available to the public through the AEM store.

AEM members may access the global markets export report on the AEM website in the Market Data section.

Custom detailing exports by 10 Digit HS code to various countries worldwide, as well as an overview of export market opportunities by product, are available to members on request. For more information, contact AEM’s Benjamin Duyck, director of market intelligence (bduyck@aem.org).

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