“Compared to other markets in Europe, Russia is doing fairly well for the European construction equipment industry”, says Ralf Wezel, Secretary General of CECE, the European Construction Equipment Association at CTT, the major construction equipment trade show in Russia taking place from June 4 to 7 in Moscow.
One out of three tower cranes produced and sold in Europe are currently going to Russia. Governmental and private projects in the oil and gas industry and in the infrastructure and housing sectors stimulate demand. Building hoists, truck mixers, concrete batching plants, mixing systems and concrete pumps are currently also most sought after. However, sales of road equipment have decreased considerably in the first quarter of this year. “Despite this, Russia remains to be one of the growth engines for our industry”, states Mr. Wezel.
The situation in Europe has not changed much in the first quarter of 2013. While Southern Europe is waiting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, Western and Northern Europe are remaining better off. According to recent CECE figures, sales of earthmoving and road equipment dropped by 20 and 30 % compared to the same period the year before and the bottom is not yet hit in some Southern European countries. Back in 2007 the combined market share of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece accounted for almost 25 % of European sales, in 2013 this number only amounts to a mere 3.5 %. Building construction equipment remains the only sub-sector where slight growth is observable at the moment, though this growth only comes from some regions like Russia, Scandinavia, Turkey or Germany.
The industry expects the situation to improve significantly in the second quarter of this year, as the longwinter had delayed construction activity and investments. Companies also reported a very good order intake at and after bauma. The recent CECE business barometer confirms this positive trend. Increased confidence of European companies about future sales pushed the business climate index of May over the zero line. However, even under an optimistic scenario with good growth in the next quarters, it will be difficult to compensate the early deteriorations over the year, particularly for earthmoving and road equipment.
In 2012 the European construction equipment industry increased their turnover by 3.4 % reaching a volume of 25 bn €. For 2013 it is expected that the overall sales will stay on the level of 2012. European manufacturers are expecting to compensate the drop in European demand by increased sales outside Europe where most markets are supposed to show an upward trend.