U.S. agricultural equipment exports increased 23% in 2011 compared to the previous year for a total $11 billion of machinery shipped to other nations, according to the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). This follows export growth of 12% in 2010 after a 2009 decline of 23% in the depths of the recession.

The AEM international trade group consolidates U.S. Commerce Department data with other sources into global market reports for members.

“The positive global agricultural environment continues to spur business growth for U.S. farm equipment manufacturers. Despite uncertainty in some markets, there remains a solid fundamental demand for food and fuel supplies to meet growing worldwide needs,” stated Charlie O’Brien, AEM vice president agriculture sector.

AEM and its I Make America campaign have pushed for export-friendly policies that create and sustain American jobs. These include free trade agreements such as the U.S.-Korea FTA being implemented, which will eliminate export duties on about 80% of U.S. industrial products and about 67% of U.S. farm-related products.

In recent AEM action, the association is calling for congressional reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, with an increased exposure cap so more companies can benefit from its services. Ex-Im Bank is self-sustaining, and it focuses on small to medium-size businesses, since private lenders many times are unable or unwilling to extend them financing and insurance support.

Exports by World Regions and Top 10 Countries

Exports to Australia/Oceania led the way in 2011 with a 60-percent gain as the region took delivery of $1.2 billion of U.S.-made agricultural equipment. Agricultural machinery exports to South America increased 31% in 2011 with purchases worth $1.3 billion, and exports of agricultural equipment to Central America gained 14% and totaled $1.0 billion.

Export sales to Asia grew 17% to total $937 million for 2011, and Africa’s purchases of U.S. agricultural machinery increased 28% to total $334 million last year. Exports of agricultural equipment to Europe gained 31% for a total $2.9 billion in 2011, and export business to Canada grew 10% and totaled $3.4 billion.

The 10 countries buying the most U.S.-made agricultural machinery in 2011:

1. Canada – $3.4 billion, up 10%

2. Australia – $1.1 billion, up 64%

3. Mexico – $806 million, up 12%

4. Brazil – $517 million, up 53%

5. Germany – $454 million, up 28%

6. China – $328 million, up 13%

7. France – $313 million, up 14%

8. Ukraine – $293 million, up 153%

9. United Kingdom – $268 million, up 5%

10. Russia – $235 million, up 55%