Exports of U.S.-made construction machinery totaled $6.68 billion for the first half of 2006, a 10 % increase compared to January-June 2005, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The AEM North American-based international trade group consolidates U.S. Commerce Department data with other sources into a quarterly export trends report.

Central America took delivery of 44 percent more American-made construction equipment during the first half of 2006 compared to 2005 by midyear, for a total of $638 million, and South America increased its purchases 16 percent to total $950 million.

Construction equipment export volume to the Asia region overall declined 19 percent (a total $694 million). However, exports to China gained 20.5 percent for the first half of 2006 to total $114 million and rank China in 11th place as an export destination for U.S. construction machinery.

“General construction (residential and commercial) projects and transportation infrastructure continue to account for the majority of recent equipment sales revenue in Latin America and China, according to participants in our quarterly industry conditions surveys,” said Arnold Huerta, AEM assistant director of international marketing.

The only other world region showing a decline was Europe, with a decrease of 17 percent in construction equipment purchases ($892 million) for the first half of 2006.

Exports to Africa grew 66 percent and totaled $318 million. Canada took delivery of $2.53 billion worth of U.S.-made construction equipment, a 22-percent gain, and exports to Australia/Oceania increased 10 percent, representing $657 million worth of construction machinery.

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