Exports of U.S.-made ag equipment gained 16 percent in 2012

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Exports of U.S.-made agricultural equipment increased 16 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year for a total $12.8 billion, with Africa leading the way in growth, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), citing U.S. Commerce Dept. data it uses in global markets reports for members.

AEM said the 16-percent gain for 2012 follows 23-percent growth in 2011 and 12 percent-growth in 2010, after a 2009 decline of 23 percent in the depths of the recession.

"While global pressures have affected export sales of U.S. agricultural machinery, we are optimistic that worldwide sales will remain positive. Commodity prices overall have been solid, and there is continued demand for the latest equipment to improve productivity," stated Charlie O'Brien, AEM senior vice president and agriculture sector leader. "Exports are vital for growth in the U.S. manufacturing and agriculture sectors, so it's imperative that our government focus on export and manufacturing policies that maintain and create American jobs."

U.S. exports of agricultural equipment to Africa gained 33 percent compared to the previous year for a total $443 million; exports to Asia increased 18 percent for a total $1.1 billion. South America's purchases of U.S. agricultural equipment in 2012 grew 19 percent to total $1.5 billion, and exports to Central America grew 15 percent to total $1.2 billion.

Europe's purchases of U.S. agricultural equipment gained 12 percent for a total $3.3 billion; exports to Canada grew 18 percent and totaled $4 billion; and exports to Australia/Oceania increased 6 percent to $1.2 billion.

The top 10 export destinations for American-made agricultural machinery in 2012 by dollar volume: (1) Canada - $4 billion, up 18 percent; (2) Australia - $1.1 billion, up 5 percent; (3) Mexico - $959 million, up 19 percent; (4) Brazil - $729 million, up 41 percent; (5) Germany - $497 million, up 9 percent; (6) China - $468 million, up 42 percent; (7) Ukraine - $382 million, up 30 percent; (8) France - $370 million, up 18 percent; (9) Russia - $334 million, up 42 percent; (10) South Africa - $315 million, up 47 percent.

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