First publishedon www.WorldHighways.com
UK exports of construction and earthmoving equipment showed further growth in the first quarter this year, the highest level since Q2 2015.
Sales topped nearly €812 million, according to the latest report from the UK’s Construction Equipment Association.
Continued healthy export sales “can be attributed to both improving demand in some of the major overseas markets, as well as the benefit of the weaker £ exchange rate since the middle of 2016, following the Brexit referendum”, report the noted.
In terms of tonnage of machinery, UK exports increased by 6.1% compared with Q4 2016, and 13.2% in monetary value.
The US remained the top destination for UK exports in Q1 2017, accounting for 19% of total exports on a weight basis and 23% by monetary value. Collectively, exports to the other 27 member countries of the European Union accounted for 48% of total weight of machines exported in Q1 and 44% of monetary value. These were similar levels to 2016.
Imports of equipment also showed significant increases in Q1. They are following the same seasonal pattern as the last two years, when imports peaked in Q3 and bottomed out in Q4. In Q1, imports showed a 34.1% increase on Q4 2016 in weight terms, and a 39.1% increase on a £ value basis, reaching €450 million. In both cases, imports were also higher than Q1 2016 levels (see chart).
Japan remained the highest single country source of imports in Q1, accounting for 21% of total imports of equipment by weight. By monetary value, Sweden edged ahead of Japan as the largest single import source, accounting for 19% of total imports in Q1.
However, the UK remains a net exporter of construction and earthmoving equipment, measured in both weight and value terms. In Q1, the trade surplus reduced to nearly €362 million, from around €394 million in Q4 2016. Despite the reduction in the surplus, the Q1 2017 was the highest quarterly surplus since Q4 2015.
Data for the report is taken from the government’s official trade statistics.
The report covered data on concrete pumps and mixers, crushing and screening equipment, track-laying tractors, off-highway dump trucks and cranes (excluding gantry cranes, overhead travelling cranes and ship derrick cranes).
Also included is general construction and earthmoving equipment such bulldozers, graders, scrapers, loaders, excavators, shovels, tamping machines and road rollers, pile driving and pile extracting equipment, tamping and compacting machinery.