Off Highway Research expects sales of construction equipment in China to dip -6% this year, prior to growth over the coming four years.
The company's mid-year review and forecast of the Chinese equipment market shows that to June 2009, overall equipment sales fell -16% to 144730 units, down from 172890 units last year.
"With expected growth in the second half of the year, the overall decline in sales in 2009 should only be about -6% down on 2008," said David Phillips, chairman of Off-highway Research.
A significant -30% decline in sales of wheeled loaders, down from 98700 units in June 2008 to 68600 this year has had a profound effect on overall volumes as products related to housing development and mining suffered from falling demand.
"With the recent major investment into different construction sectors, the market is now recovering after a decline in the past six months," said Mr Phillips.
"Sales in the fourth quarter should be much stronger than those of the same period last year," he said.
Looking towards 2010, and Off Highway Research predicts a +5% growth in equipment sales. Wheeled loaders will continue to lead the way with sales in the region of 132000 units, up +5.6% on this year, with sales of hydraulic excavators increasing +5.2% to 64200 units, up from 61000.
Compaction equipment is the only area where Off Highway Research expects a decline in 2010, although that decline is only expected to be in the order of -8.4%, which represents 800 machines.
"Driven by the major investment that has been planned for 2009-2010, and the huge funding resources that are now available, the market for construction equipment is anticipated to continue to grow," said Mr Phillips.
"While the rate of growth may be slower than previously, it will doubtless be more sustainable, and the market may be expected to become increasingly mature in the sophistication of the equipment that's required, as well as seeing a greater consolidation in its manufacturing base," he said.
Beyond 2010, Off Highway Research forecasts that equipment sales in China will grow +5% in 2011 and +4% in 2012, before slowing to a +1% growth in 2013.