U.S. exports of farm equipment down by 29% in 2014

U.S. exports of farm equipment down by 29% in 2014

Lower commodity prices and falling farm incomes seen as key reason for decline in U.S. exports of farm machinery

Exports of U.S.-made ag equipment fell in 2014 by 29% when compared to 2013, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers said Wednesday, citing figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Related: Rising used farm machinery inventory drives new industry initiative

A total of $8.51 billion worth of ag equipment was shipped to global markets in 2014, AEM said.

While a decline of nearly one-third is steep, the drop in U.S. farm equipment exports was not completely unexpected, AEM said. In 2014, a record harvest led to lower commodity prices and falling farm incomes, leading to a deterioration in farm economics worldwide.

Part of the grounds of the World Ag Expo is seen on opening day on Feb.10, 2015, in Tulare, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

All world regions recorded double-digit declines, except Central America. Leading the way were Asia, Europe and Canada, AEM said. Lower crop prices caused an uneven market in Europe, while in Asia, the declines mostly focused on China.

In South America, the Brazilian market, which remains highly subsidized, experienced not only lower commodity prices, but also a delay in the government's financing program.

Related: Ag machinery year makes soft landing

Overall, conditions for the U.S. remained more positive as it was supported by smaller equipment sales and an improved livestock/dairy sector.

Year-end 2014 U.S. agricultural equipment exports by major world regions compared to year-end 2013:

• Canada dropped 38.4%, for a total $2.64 billion
• Europe declined 30.8%, for a total $1.95 billion
• Central America decreased 7.1%, for a total $1.09 billion
• South America dropped 18.9%, for a total $1 billion
• Asia fell 34.9%, for a total $754.9 million
• Australia/Oceania fell 19.7% for a total $732.1 million
• Africa decreased 21.2%, for a total $348.7 million

The top countries buying the most U.S.-made agricultural machinery during 2014 (by dollar volume) were:  Canada - $2.64 billion, down 38.4%; Mexico - $920.3 million, down 6.9%; Australia - $640.1 million, down 22.1%; Brazil - $407.2 million, down 21.2%; and China - $319.4 million, down 34.9%.

In sixth place was Germany - $292.8 million, down 37.7%, followed by: South Africa - $241.1 million, down 20.6%; France - $203.6 million, down 40.8%; Russia - $198.1 million, down 34.7%; and United Kingdom - $174.4 million, down 16.3%.

U.S. exports of farm machinery and equipment, 2014:

U.S. exports of farm equipment down by 29% in 2014

Interested in more ag machinery and farm equipment stories? Check the Farmer Iron column.

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