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Sun September 26 2021

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Strong growth reported in construction equipment sales

28 Jul Sales of UK construction and earthmoving equipment were more than 70% above 2020 levels in the first half of the year and were also up on 2018 and 2019.

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There were sales of over 18,000 units, which was 73% ahead of the levels seen in the first half of last year.

Retail sales showed further strong growth last month, and were 75% ahead of the levels seen in the same month last year, when sales were still recovering from the impact of the first lockdown.

Sales in the second quarter were more than double the levels seen last year, reaching over 10,000 units.

The construction equipment statistics exchange is run by Systematics International. The scheme is run in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).

CEA said that comparisons with sales in earlier years indicate how buoyant the market has been in 2021, with sales ahead of both 2018 (by 4%) and 2019 (+7%) in the first half of the year.

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The sector is still experiencing supply chain shortages and price rises for many products and materials. High levels of equipment sales in the face of this demonstrate the underlying strength of current demand in the construction market, said CEA.

The strongest growth in sales has been experienced by telehandlers for the construction industry, with sales more than double last year’s levels in the first six months. These machines had shown the weakest performance amongst the major equipment types in 2020, when sales were more than 40% below 2019 levels.

Mini/midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes) have had the opposite experience, after being the strongest-performing product last year. Sales in the first six months of this year have shown 58% growth compared with last year, and lag behind all the other major equipment types in percentage growth terms. However, mini/midi excavators remain the most popular equipment type by a significant margin.

Sales have been strongest in the north west of England and in Scotland, where figures have been more than double the levels seen in the first half of 2020. In contrast, weaker sales have been experienced in the West Midlands and Wales.

Sales in the Republic of Ireland are also recorded in the statistics scheme, and like the UK, showed further strong growth in June. As a result, sales in Q2 were more than double last year’s levels, and in the first half of the year are 56% above sales in the same period last year.

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