Construction equipment exports see highest level of growth since Q2 2015

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New data has revealed construction equipment exports remain buoyant, as the first quarter of the year sees figures reach a new high

Figures from the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) show growth in exports during the first quarter of 2017.

The data, taken from HMRC official trade statistics, revealed numbers reached £700m—the highest level seen since Apr-June 2015. The CEA said an increase in demand for construction equipment in some overseas markets and the benefit of the weaker pound exchange rate following the EU referendum was pushing figures.

This means during Q1 2017 UK exports of construction and earthmoving equipment increased by 6.1 per cent in weight terms (tonnage of machines) when compared to Q4 2016. In value terms (£ million), figures rose 13.2 per cent.

The top destination for exports during Q1 2017 was the USA. The nation took 19 per cent of the total number of exports on a weight basis and 23 per cent on a £ value basis. Exports to the EU28 accounted for 48 per cent of total weight and 44 per cent of £ value. These figures were similar to 2016 annual levels.

Imports

The figures revealed similar seasonal patterns in regards to imports of equipment, with levels peaking in the April-June quarter and bottoming out in October-December.

When compared to Q4 2016, there was a 34.1 per cent increase in weight terms and a 39.1 per cent increase on a £ value basis, reaching £388m. Imports were higher than in Q1 2016.

Accounting for 21 per cent of the total imports of equipment in weight terms, Japan topped the list as the highest source of imports in Q1. Sweden surpassed the nation on £ value basis, accounting for 19 per cent of total imports.

The report revealed the UK remains a net exporter of equipment, with the trade surplus reduced to £312m from £340m in Q4 2016 but still seeing the highest quarterly surplus since Q4 2015.

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