A new report from the UK’s Construction Equipment Association (CEA) reveals a drop in machinery sales of 17% for the third quarter of 2020, compared with the same period for 2019.
According to the report, construction machinery sales in the first three quarters of 2020 were 31% below those for the same time period in 2019. However, sales for the third quarter have shown an improvement on the position at the end of the previous quarter, when sales were 38% below 2019 levels.
The improvement in construction machinery sales in September 2020 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 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Sales in previous months since May 2020 have been on an improving trend, but were still showing major reductions compared with sales in the same month in 2019. The expectation now is that equipment sales for the full year might be in the range of 25% to 30% below the levels for 2019, if modest recovery continues in the fourth quarter, which is traditionally the quietest quarter of the year.
Looking solely at major equipment types, there has been a major drop in sales during the first three quarters of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. This shows a similar pattern to previous months with the most popular equipment type, mini and midi excavators (up to 10tonnes), 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. Sales of many of the other major equipment types are still over 40% lower than 2019 levels on a year to date basis.
The construction equipment statistics exchange also covers retail sales of equipment in the Republic of Ireland. In the third quarter, sales matched 2019 levels, and have reduced the shortfall in the first three quarters of the year to 19% below last year’s levels.