Exports of U.S. agricultural equipment have increased each quarter of 2010, with midyear shipments totaling $4.9 billion, a gain of 4 percent compared to January-June 2009, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The AEM off-road equipment manufacturing trade group consolidates U.S. Commerce Dept. data with other sources into global trend reports for members.

“Over the past decade, exports have become a very significant source of business growth for many agricultural equipment manufacturers, and these positive numbers are welcome after the double-digit declines the industry experienced last year,” stated Charlie O’Brien, AEM vice president, agricultural sector. “However, while some economies are rebounding faster than the United States, there is still uncertainty in some regions.”

O’Brien continued,” Global trade helps farmers and agricultural-related firms stay in business. There is a growing world to feed and clothe, and free trade provides more opportunities. That’s why it’s vital for Congress to get engaged and work to take up the signed free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and Korea. Countries around the world are negotiating free trade agreements with each other, without the United States, and U.S. farmers and businesses will be the losers.” Today, the U.S. is engaged in less than 25 percent of these trade agreements, which ultimately mean a loss of American jobs.”

U.S. exports to Central America and Asia showed the most growth – a gain of 44 percent for Central America, with export purchases totaling $466 million, and an increase of 29 percent for Asia for its export purchases of $426 million.

Exports to Europe dropped 19 percent to $1.4 billion, and exports to Africa decreased 13 percent to $116 million.

South America took delivery of $370 million worth of U.S.-made agricultural equipment, an increase of 18 percent. Exports to Canada grew 15 percent and totaled $1.8 billion, and Australia/Oceania’s purchases of $377 million represented a 3-percent increase.

The top destinations for U.S. agricultural machinery exports January-June 2010 were: (1) Canada - $1.8 billion, up 15 percent; (2) Mexico - $392 million, up 45 percent; (3) Australia - $350 million, up 2 percent; (4) Germany - $216 million, down 7 percent; (5) China - $184 million, up 53 percent; (6) France - $173 million, down 23 percent; (7) United Kingdom - $151 million, down 8 percent; (8) Brazil - $133 million, up 43 percent; (9) Netherlands - $118 million, up 60 percent; (10) Russia - $111 million, down 1 percent.