UK construction equipment sales rise 70% above 2020 levels

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construction equipment, supply chain

Sales of construction equipment soared in June, and were 75% above the same month last year, according to the Construction Equipment Association (CEA)

Comparisons with construction equipment 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.

Like many other industries, 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.

Strongest growth in sales

The pattern of sales for the major equipment types in the first half of the year is shown in the chart below. This shows that 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.

The CEA says: “This is a welcome bounce back after showing the weakest performance amongst the major equipment types in 2020, when sales were over 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 in the Republic of Ireland are also recorded in the statistics scheme, and like the UK, showed strong growth in June.

The map shows the percentage differences for sales in the main regions in the first half of 2021 compared with the same period last year.

Sales have been strongest in the North West of England and in Scotland, where sales 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, where sales have been less than 35% above last year’s levels.

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