United States farm exports dip 23 percent

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. — United States exports of agricultural-related machinery totaled nearly $8 billion in 2009, a 23-percent drop compared to the previous year, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

The association trade group consolidates United States Commerce Department data for off-road equipment with other sources into quarterly export trend reports.

“Our manufacturers operate in a global marketplace, and the farm equipment sector as well has been adversely affected by this worldwide recession after several years of strong export growth,” stated Dennis Slater, president of the equipment manufacturer association. “For example, prior to 2009, the export market for agricultural equipment had been expanding with double-digit increases since 2004. Current economic conditions, including limited access to credit, remain challenging in many countries and have led to a slowdown in business.”

The numbers

United States farm equipment exports to Europe totaled $2.3 billion, a 42 percent drop for 2009 and exports to South America declined 31 percent, with purchases totaling $611 million.

Central America took delivery of $646 million worth of American-made agricultural equipment last year, a 20 percent decrease while Asia bought $643 million worth of agricultural machinery, a 19 percent decrease.

Exports to Australia/Oceania declined 2 percent and totaled $777 million and Africa’s farm equipment export purchases were $225 million, a drop of 25 percent.

Exports to Canada remained about even with a 1 percent decrease to total $2.7 billion.

The top buyers of United States farm machinery for 2009 were Canada ($2.7 billion), Australia ($731 million), Mexico ($531 million), Germany ($350 million), France ($340 million), United Kingdom ($250 million), China ($216 million), Belgium ($199 million), Brazil ($182 million), Netherlands ($138 million), South Africa ($134 million), Russia ($126 million), Japan ($118 million), Kazakhstan ($103 million) and Italy (97 million).

Australia’s purchase were up 6 percent from the previous year while China was the biggest buyer with totals up 45 percent in 2009. Russia’s purchases was down 81 percent, nearly double of the falling total from the other countries.

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