UK construction equipment sales plunged by 17% in Q3 2020, as sales for the full year are expected to be 25-30% below last year’s levels
Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment were 17% lower in Q3 this year compared with the same quarter in 2019.
This takes equipment sales in the first three quarters of the year to 31% below last year’s level during the same time period.
This is an improvement on the position at the end of the Q2 2020, when sales were 38% below 2019 levels at mid-year.
Strong sales in September have helped to reduce the deficit compared with 2019.
At over 2,600 units in September, they were only 7% below 2019 levels and can be considered the first month to see sales return to near-normal levels since February, before Covid-19 hit.
Sales in previous months since May have been on an improving trend, but were still showing double-digit shortfalls compared with sales in the same month in 2019.
Sales by equipment type
Sales for major equipment types shows a similar pattern to previous months with the most popular equipment type, mini and midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes), continuing to see stronger demand than all of the other equipment types.
Sales of mini/midi excavators in Q3 were 7% above 2019 levels, and reduced the shortfall in year to date sales to only 13% below 2019.
Strong demand from the housebuilding market is reported to be supporting sales for these smaller machines.
Sales of many of the other major equipment types are still over 40% lower than 2019 levels on a year to date basis.