Excavator sales by Chinese OEMs reached record levels in March, according to data from China Construction Machinery Association (CCMA).
According to the CCMA total excavator sales hit a record high of 49,408 last month, up 11.6% year on year.
Of this total the vast majority of sales were domestic, with 46,610 units sold in March in China. Excavators sold for export were a much smaller number of 2,798 units, although this was an increase of 17.7% compared to the same month last year.
Excavator sales in the first quarter for Chinese OEMs are down 8.2% compared to the first quarter of 2019 at 68,630 units, although exports were up by almost 35%.
The decline in sales is not surprising given how the country was affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 for much of the first quarter of the year – that sales are only down by 8.2% is partly due to March’s record sales.
The CCMA also break the sales figures down by the different weight capacity of excavators. According to the data provided, domestic sales in March 2020 were 5,271 units for excavators of 30 tonnes and over; 11,288 units for excavators between 20-30 tonnes; and 30,105 units for machines under 20 tonnes.
It has also been reported that, due the price increase of construction materials, major players like XCMG and Sany have announced price increases for excavator sales of 5% for hydraulic excavators, and 10% for mini excavators. Other OEMs are expected to follow suit.
Excavator sales are a good indicator of the health of a country’s construction market. China is ‘further along’ than most other countries regarding COVID-19. This is due to the first case occurring in China towards the end of last year and the country’s stringent measures at lockdown and social distancing.
China’s production levels at factories are nearing the same levels as before the outbreak.
The CCMA’s data showing record excavator sales is supported by information from Doosan Infracore revealing that the company received large orders for medium-sized excavators from China.
Doosan said in a statement that the company had received orders for 32 22-ton grade excavators from two large construction companies involved in infrastructure construction. These excavators are expected to be used for the infrastructure construction of Chanchun Shi, which will construct a subway, expressway, and a bridge.