US construction equipment exports still in a slump
The first quarter of 2016 marked the 13th consecutive quarter that US construction equipment exports experienced year-over-year declines.
Exports of US-made construction equipment declined 25% overall during the first quarter of 2016 compared to first quarter 2015 with a total US$2.7 billion shipped to global markets.
Africa and South America experienced the sharpest declines, each down nearly 50%, while Central America exports were stable and Europe gained slightly, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), citing US Department of Commerce data it uses in global market reports for members.
AEM is the North American-based international business group representing the off-road equipment manufacturing industry.
First quarter 2016 US construction equipment exports by major world regions compared to first quarter 2015:
• Canada dropped 28%, for a total $1.1 billion.
• Europe gained 5%, for a total $455 million.
• Central America fell 1%, for a total $378 million.
• Asia decreased 37%, for a total $290 million.
• South America declined 47%, for a total $258 million.
• Australia/Oceania fell 10% to $162 million
• Africa declined 49% to $107 million
AEM’s Benjamin Duyck, director of market intelligence, provides some insights.
He says the continued downturn in exports is linked to the strong US dollar, reducing the nation’s competitiveness by making US equipment relatively more expensive.
Overall, the construction industry is expected to continue to grow by 3.4% globally in 2016, according to Business Monitor International However, roughly half that growth is expected from the North American markets.
The most impactful decreases in exports could be found in the earthmoving equipment segment, which decreased roughly 35%.
“While small, we did see increases in the lifting equipment segment, driven mostly by self-propelled aerial work platforms,” says Duyck.
“Looking at the individual countries, Belgium was up roughly 38%, which might look surprising. The Port of Antwerp, though, serves as a pass-through for the European continent. Exports to Germany and the United Kingdom were also up: growth in Germany appears to have been driven by a boost in excavators and wheeled loader exports and exports to the UK appear to be driven by an increase in self-propelled aerial work platforms.”
The top countries buying the most US-made construction machinery during first quarter 2016 (by dollar volume) were:
1. Canada, $1.1 billion, down 28%.
2. Mexico, $310 million, down .01%.
3. Australia, $148 million, down 10%.
4. Belgium, $101 million, up 38%.
5. Peru, $85 million, down 17%.
6. Germany, $74 million, up 58%.
7. Chile, $60 million, down 48%.
8. China, $49 million, down 31%.
9. United Kingdom, $47 million, up 8%.
10. South Africa, $40 million, down 65%.