U.S. manufacturers of farm equipment such as combines, tractors and other agricultural machines increased exports in 2008 by 26 percent.
American exports of agricultural-related machinery totaled $10.4 billion dollars in 2008, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The largest increases by percentage growth in equipment exports were to Australia and Asia, followed by Canada, South America and Europe.
In dollar terms, exports to Europe totaled $4 billion dollars, the highest of any region. Canada imported U.S. farm equipment totaling $2.8 billion dollars, a 31 percent increase over 2007.
South America took delivery of $888 million dollars worth of American-made agricultural equipment in 2008, a gain of 29 percent.
Farm equipment exports to Australia/Oceania totaled $794 million dollars, a 59-percent increase for 2008.
Asia bought $793 million dollars worth of U.S. agricultural machinery, while Africas farm equipment export purchases equaled $299 million dollars.
Export growth was strongest in the first quarter of the year and then dropped substantially by the third quarter, said Charlie OBrien, AEM vice president of agricultural services. The farming sector has not been immune to the global economic downturn, with continued uncertain conditions around the world, and in some instances staggering economic reversals of recent positive trends in certain world regions.