Strong growth in Q1 construction equipment sales
Thirty percent increase in first-quarter UK sales suggest significant momentum in the market
ACCORDING to the construction equipment statistics exchange run by Systematics International Ltd, in partnership with the CEA, retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment in the UK and Northern Ireland in March 2021 were almost double the levels seen in March last year when the impact of Covid was felt for the first time.
As a result, sales in the first quarter of 2021 were 30% above 2020 levels, reaching more than 8,000 units, and were also 2.9% above first-quarter 2019 levels, suggesting significant momentum in the market in the early months of this year.
On a regional basis, sales in the South East were the strongest at +39% in the first quarter of 2021, whilst Wales saw the weakest sales in the quarter, still 2% below last year’s levels.
Sales in the Republic of Ireland, which are also recorded in the statistics scheme, saw a more modest increase in March this year compared with the UK, with first-quarter sales ending up 12% above 2020 levels.
The growth in sales is still being driven by excavators, with mini/midi machines up 34.4% and larger crawler excavators up 27.4%, whilst road rollers and telehandlers (for the construction industry) also showed strong recoveries in the first quarter, up 27.2% and 23.9% respectively.
Although some concerns remain that construction equipment sales could be held back during 2021 due to supply-side constraints for certain components, there is growing confidence that sales should see a strong recovery for the full year.