Construction equipment manufacturers shipped more than $1.94 billion worth of machinery to global markets in the first quarter of 2004, an increase of almost 10% compared to the previous quarter and an 18% gain over first-quarter 2003 exports of U.S.-made construction equipment, according to data released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The AEM international trade group consolidates U.S. Commerce Department data with other sources into a quarterly export trends report for members.
Exports of construction machinery to South America rose more than 30% compared to the previous quarter to total $267 million, which was an 89% increase over first-quarter 2003 totals. Exports bound for Central America totaled $186 million, a 4% increase over the previous quarter and a 22% gain compared to last year's first-quarter totals.
The Asia marketplace was the only world region recording a drop in U.S. construction equipment exports, with its purchases of $236 million a 5.5% decline from fourth-quarter 2003 and a 4% drop compared to first-quarter 2003.
Construction machinery exports to Europe increased slightly for first-quarter 2004 and totaled $337 million, gains of 3% and 2% compared to, respectively, the previous quarter and first-quarter 2003. In other world regions for first quarter 2004, exports to Canada improved 15% compared to the previous quarter to total $662 million, which was a 13% gain over first-quarter 2003.
Australia/Oceania purchased $175 million worth of U.S.-made construction equipment, an increase of 11% over the previous quarter and 37% over last-year's first-quarter totals. Exports to Africa totaled $78 million, a 1% gain over fourth-quarter 2003 and a 30% increase compared to the first quarter of last year.
The 10 countries taking delivery of the most U.S. construction equipment in first-quarter 2004 were: Canada ($662 mil), Australia ($168 mil), Mexico ($136 mil), Chile ($79 mil), Belgium ($76 mil) Colombia ($67 mil), Germany ($65 mil), Brazil ($61 mil), China ($57 mil) and United Kingdom ($43 mil).