Construction equipment exports increase 30 percent in 2004

U.S.-made construction equipment exports showed gains gains of almost 30 percent in 2004 compared to the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The increase represented $8.9 billion in equipment sold worldwide, with all regions showing double-digit increases.

Exports to Australia/Oceania jumped in 2004 with a 63-percent gain, and delivery of $784.5 million in U.S.-made construction equipment.

South America and Asia also ranked high in total exports from the United States, with $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion worth of equipment, respectively. South America had a 60-percent gain from the previous year.

Traditional trading partners Europe and Canada also played a crucial role in the U.S.-made construction equipment export market. Europe bought $1.55 billion worth of equipment, with Canada purchasing almost double that amount at $3 billion.

Domestically, North American equipment revenues have swung upward since mid-2003, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ trend index. The market experienced a drop in June 2004 from $2 billion in revenue to below $1.5 billion in November of that year. The North American market has since rebounded above the $2 billion mark for the first quarter of 2005.

The world’s largest agricultural equipment manufacturer, John Deere, posted record first quarter profits for 2005 due in part to high product demand in China and other world markets. The company recently opened a factory in Russia and is building an $80 million factory in Brazil.

Deere predicts its construction equipment sales will increase 10 to 12 percent in 2005. Construction equipment accounted for $3.7 billion of the company’s total sales last year.

Caterpillar also posted a boost in profits for the fourth quarter of 2004. The company cited increased demand for its products worldwide as the reason for the year’s 85-percent gain in profit.

Cat is currently expanding its manufacturing operations in China with a product and process development center planned in the country’s Shandong Province.

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The top 10 countries buying the most U.S.-made construction equipment in 2004 were:

  1. Canada – $3 billion, up 23 percent
  2. Australia – $747 million, up 65.5 percent
  3. Mexico – $626 million, up 27 percent
  4. Belgium – $408 million, up 25 percent
  5. Chile – $363 million, up 84 percent
  6. China – $262 million, up 63 percent
  7. Brazil – $260 million, up 38 percent
  8. Germany – $225 million, up 25 percent
  9. Singapore – $224 million, up 86 percent
  10. United Kingdom – $174 million, up 18 percent