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Plant sales surge

27 July 2021

Plant sales surge

UK construction equipment sales were more than 70% above 2020 levels in the first half of this year. And the figure might well have been larger if there weren’t the supply difficulties currently being faced throughout industry.  

The findings come from the statistics exchange run by Systematics International Ltd in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA). 

Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment showed further strong growth in June, and were 75% ahead of the levels seen in the same month last year, when sales were still recovering from the impact of the first lockdown. 

As a result, sales in Q2 were more than double the levels seen last year, and reached over 10,000 units during the quarter. For the first half of the year, sales were over 18,000 units, and are 73% ahead of the levels seen in the first half of last year. 

The CEA adds that comparisons with sales in earlier years indicate how buoyant the market has been in 2021. Sales are ahead of both 2018 (up 4%) and 2019 (up 7%) in the first half of the year. 

Despite the supply chain shortages and price rises for many products and materials, this demonstrates the underlying strength of current demand in the construction market. 

Interestingly, the strongest demand was for telehandlers, with sales more than double last year’s levels in the first six months. 

Conversely, mini/midi excavator sales (up to 10 tonnes) have lagged in percentage terms. Sales in the first half of 2021 have shown 58% growth compared with last year, but they still represent the most popular equipment type by a significant margin. Doubtless this reflects the supply chain challenges. 

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