By CECE09 May 2008
This production level represented a +19,2% increase on 2006 at current prices. It was the fourth consecutive year of rising construction equipment output among these major European countries, and the steepest growth since the current up-swing began in 2004.
By far the largest construction equipment manufacturing country in Europe is Germany. Last year it built some € 9,26 billion worth of machinery - close to 30% of the European total. Germany also illustrates the sharp growth of the last few years, with the value of production more than doubling since 2003, when € 4,29 billion worth of machines were made.
Other major manufacturers of construction equipment last year included Italy, with production valued at € 6,65 billion, the UK (€ 4,24 billion), France (€ 2,78 billion) and Sweden (€ 2,31 billion).
Excluding the Netherlands - again full data is not available - the total market for construction equipment in these countries last year was € 17,6 billion. This highlights Europe's strong position as a net exporter of equipment - 2007 saw net exports of € 12,4 billion - 41,3% of production from these countries.
It is also interesting to note that exports are growing faster than the European market itself. Last year the market was up +17,7%, while production rose +19,2%. With demand for equipment in Europe expected to level off this year - CECE expects just a +1,8% rise at current prices - the strength of demand outside the region will see the share of exports pushed up even further.
This has been the trend throughout this decade. In 2002, Europe's net exports of construction equipment stood at € 5,27 billion - 32,8% of production. This trade volume is forecast to hit € 14,2 billion next year, or 44,3% of production.
In terms of the value of exports, Germany leads the way with € 5,77 billion of the country's production sold outside the country last year. This is forecast to grow to € 6,25 billion this year, some 63% of production. Other countries expected to export more than half their production of construction equipment this year include Finland (52,8%). Italy (50,6%) and Sweden (80,5). Among the various countries surveyed in CECE's economic report only Poland, Spain and Turkey are net importers of construction equipment.