US construction equipment exports down 19% in 2015
First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
Exports of US-made construction equipment were down 19% in 2015 compared to the previous year for a total $13.9 billion shipped worldwide. All world regions experienced declines, led by Africa and South America, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), citing US Department of Commerce data it uses in global market reports for members.
The AEM, the North American-based international business group representing the off-road equipment manufacturing industry, said the new figures revealed how US construction equipment exports to Canada dropped 18,% for a total $5.5 billion. Elsewhere, exports to Asia decreased 10%, for a total $1.8 billion; exports to Europe fell 12%, for a total $1.7 billion; exports to South America dipped by 33%, for a total $1.7 billion; and US exports to Central America were down 23%, for a total $1.5 billion. Meanwhile, US construction equipment exports to Australia/Oceania were down just 1% for a total of $882 million; while exports to Africa plummeted by 37% to $777 million.
AEM’s Benjamin Duyck, director of market intelligence, said: “In the fourth quarter of 2015, construction machinery exports continued to experience year-over-year declines for the 12th consecutive month. The year-end also marked the 3rd consecutive yearly decline. These declines do need to be placed in the proper context as exports boomed after the Great Recession and strongly supported the US construction equipment industry. Additionally, there are regional differences affecting exports.”
Duyck said the deteriorating export position does not come as a surprise as the US faces strong external headwinds. Global economic markets such as China and Brazil are experiencing deep-rooted structural problems, he stressed, and a strong US dollar is making US exports more expensive for international buyers. The lower commodity prices (metals and energy) are, continued Duyck, causing shifts in some market segments and equipment demand, domestically and internationally.
“As noted before, U.S. exports are not deteriorating as strongly for every region. For example, 2015 exports to Australia, the US 3rd largest trading partner, grew 2.5% compared to 2014 (and were up 20% in the 4th quarter compared to the same quarter in the previous year). While for 2015 there was a small 1% regional decline for Australia/Oceania, the region clearly outperformed the global community.”
Further US Department of Commerce data highlighted by the AEM revealed the top countries buying the most US-made construction machinery during 2015 (by dollar volume):
1. Canada - $5.5 billion, down 18%
2. Mexico - $1.2 billion, down 24%
3. Australia - $829 million, up 2.5%
4. Belgium - $334 million, down 28%
5. Chile - $492 million, down 20%
6. United Arab Emirates - $272 million, up 73%
7. South Africa - $344 million, down 49%
8. Peru - $330 million, down 28%
9. Brazil - $403 million, down 44%
10. China - $267 million, down 27.5%