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Farm machinery exports gain 30.5 percent

Exports of U.S. agricultural-related equipment to nations around the world topped $5.8 billion dollars for the first half of 2008 compared to mid-year 2007 numbers, for an increase of 30.5 percent, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The North American-based international trade group produces a quarterly global-markets report for members consolidating U.S. Commerce Department data.

Asia and Central America recorded modest gains while all other major world regions reported substantial growth, led by Australia/Oceania and South America.

Exports to Australia/Oceania grew the most during the first half of 2008, an increase of 94 percent as the region took delivery of $347 million dollars worth of U.S. farm equipment. Exports to South America rose 37 percent, to total $406 million, while Central America purchased $398 million worth of American-made farm machinery, a gain of 8 percent.

Agricultural equipment exports to Europe rose 30 percent for January-June 2008 compared to a year earlier to total $2.6 billion, and exports to Canada were $1.55 billion, an increase of 35 percent. Exports to Asia increased 6 percent to total $398 million, and exports to Africa of U.S.-made farm equipment grew 29 percent and totaled $141 million.

"U.S. exports of farm machinery have been on the upswing for the past several years, and these numbers demonstrate the important and continuing role of exports in maintaining a vital agricultural equipment manufacturing industry," said AEM Vice President of Agricultural Services Charlie O'Brien.

"We continue to see global demand for equipment as producers around the world seek to enhance their productivity to meet the food needs of populations in both developed and developing countries, and the need to develop renewable energy resources worldwide," he added.

The top 10 export destinations for U.S. farm machinery exports for the first half of 2008 were: (1) Canada - $1.55 billion, up 35 percent; (2) Russia - $456 million, up 63 percent; (3) Germany - $331 million, up 25 percent; (4) Australia - $305.5 million, up 97 percent; (5) Mexico - $305 million, up 9 percent; (6) France - $244 million, up 23 percent; (7) Ukraine - $243 million, up 71 percent; (8) United Kingdom - $233 million, up 25 percent; (9) Belgium - $179 million, down 2 percent; (10) Kazakhstan - $156 million, up 56 percent. Brazil came in at number 11 with $145 million, a 29-percent increase.

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing the off-road equipment manufacturing industry, and its members manufacture equipment, products and services used worldwide in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee and has offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China; with a European presence in Brussels, Belgium.

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