Western Europe is the leading market. Russia plummets following Ukraine crisis sanctions and the devaluation of the rouble. Agreement between Veronafiere-SaMoTer and Prometeia: construction equipment market outlook set up.

Foreign trade in construction machinery and equipment held up in the first six months of 2015, confirming a positive balance of trade for Italian industry coming to 950.8 million euros, posting substantial stability (+0.1%) compared to the same period in the previous year.

Exports of earth moving machinery and equipment, road machinery, concrete plant, tower cranes, aggregate preparation machinery and drilling machinery in the period January-June cane to 1 billion and 242 million euros, up by 5.9% compared to the first six months of 2014. Imports came to 291.6 million euros, up by 31.1% over the same period one year earlier. Sales to Russia fell vertically (-63.3%), following the Ukraine crisis sanctions and the devaluation of the rouble.

These are the initial data released by the SaMoTer-Verona Observatory on the construction equipment market developed in collaboration with Prometeia. The Bologna-based company is a leader in consulting services, software and economic research with more than 500 professionals in 5 countries world-wide. Early in September, it signed a three-year agreement with Veronafiere to provide stakeholders (exhibitors, operators, visitors, etc.) in SaMoTer, the landmark international trade fair for the sector (the next edition is scheduled in Verona 22-25 February 2017), with tools analysing current and future scenarios in the sector.

The Observatory – in cooperation with UNACEA (Italian construction equipment association) – assures SaMoTer even more status as a landmark for market information and market intelligence.

The agreement between Veronafiere-SaMoTer and Prometeia will be presented in detail in coming weeks. It will provide information on three levels: a foreign trade monitor with monthly import-export updates; building industry monitor with quarterly updates on construction market trends in Italy; an annual update report on the world market for earth-moving machinery.

SaMoTer sector trends

Trends on world markets in the six sectors covered by SaMoTer are rather different. In particular, exports of earth-moving machinery and equipment increased between January and June by 8.3% over the same period in 2014, amounting to 524.2 million euros, while imports leapt by 38.1% to 208.7 million euros.

A two-figure performance for exports of road building machinery, up by 14.7% to 60.6 million euros. Imports grew by 11.2% to nine million euros. There was a slight downturn for concrete machinery: export sales fell back by 3.3% to 163.8 million euros; imports performed even worse, down by 24.4% to 4.1 million euros in the period January-June 2015.

Tower cranes posted a positive result with 110.4 million euros in foreign sales, an increase of 28%; imports posted a similar trend, improving to 11.8 million euros, up 250.6 percent%.

On the other hand, exports of aggregate preparation machinery fell back by 2.1% to 217.7 million euros, while imports increased by 26% to 49 million euros. Lastly, drilling machinery saw international sales grow by 4.9% to 165.8 million euros, while imports fell back by 42.3% to 9 million euros in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2014.

Geographical areas

Western Europe is still one of the key markets for construction machinery in some of the six sectors covered by SaMoTer, up by 6.9% to 466.5 million euros in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2014. Sales in Russia plummeted from more than 81 million euros to 29.7 millions in the period January to June, posting -63.3% compared to the previous year: this was the outcome of Ukraine crisis sanctions and the devaluation of the rouble.

Good improvements in sales were seen in the Middle East totalling 117.7 million euros (+13.8%), Asia with 123.9 millions (+39.6%), North America with 115.7 millions (+31.5%) and Africa with +7.4% up to 152.2 million euros, confirming its position as the second regional area for Italian exports in value terms. There was also good growth in Oceania, with +9.2% up to 23.5 million euros.

Exports in Turkey and Central-Eastern Europe were stable in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2014, posting 138.3 million euros, as was also the case for Central and Southern America at 72.1 million euros (+0.9%).

Imports between January and June from Western Europe rose by 30.2% to 222.2 million euros, by 36.6% to 31.4 million euros from Asia, 10.2% to 18.3 million euros from North America, 84.9% to 16 million euros from Central-Eastern Europe and Turkey, while imports from other countries in Europe, Central-South America and Oceania remained minor. Imports from Africa fell back by 44.5% to 1.1 million euros, while purchases from Russia were practically null.