Optimism from Ag Equipment Manufacturers, Trade Agreements Needed

By December 17, 2010Economy, Trade

News release, “AEM Releases Annual Agricultural Equipment Manufacturing ‘Outlook’“:

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In the just-released agriculture equipment “business outlook” survey of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM):

  • Agricultural machinery manufacturers predict overall U.S. business to close out 2010 with 2.4-percent growth, then gain 3.7 percent in 2011 and 2.4 percent in 2012, followed by 2013 growth of 3.0 percent.
  • Canadian business overall is expected to be 4.1 percent higher in 2010 than the previous year, but then flatten out, down 0.5 percent in 2011, up 1.0 percent in 2012 and up 1.5 percent in 2013.
  • Industry business to the rest of the world is expected to increase the most through 2013 – up 2.8 percent in 2010, followed by 7.6 percent growth in 2011 and gains of 6.9 percent in 2012 and 5.9 percent in 2013.

The survey asked respondents to rank how several factors would influence sales. Positive commodity prices were a key factor as well as strong export sales. Credit availability to finance purchases remains a concern as are steel prices.

“While there has been a recession, agriculture has been fortunate to have powered through, showing positive signs in most areas. I emphasize most, because some have struggled along with other economic sectors. Those serving consumers more directly and those in the dairy industry coping with volatile milk prices have certainly faced difficulties. But for the most part, agriculture has remained in good shape,” stated AEM’s Charlie O’Brien, vice president, agricultural sector.

And you know what would help? Free-trade agreements:

O’Brien emphasized that export sales have been a bright spot for U.S. companies, helping to create and support jobs for American workers. “Especially in the current economy, Congress needs to help our farmers and manufacturers by acting on export agreements such as the ones with Korea, Colombia and Panama,” he stated.

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