The market for mobile cranes in China fell 20 % in the first half of the year according to specialist consultant Off-Highway Research. It said 3,900 all terrain, crawler, industrial rough terrain and truck cranes were sold in China in the first six months of 2016, compared to 4,900 for the same period in 2015.

Off-Highway Research expects total mobile crane sales in China to come to 6,800 machines this year, representing a 16 % fall on 2015. This is expected to be the bottom of the cycle, with a gradual recovery starting in 2017. Annual mobile crane sales are forecast to rise to 9,500 units by 2020.

The all-time high for crane sales in China was in 2011, when a staggering 34,902 units – some 95 % of which were truck cranes – were sold on the back of the government’s stimulus spending boom. Construction activity, however, has slowed significantly since then and the high field population of cranes is a barrier to new machine sales. Off-Highway Research puts China’s crane population at 195,500 machines.

“The market remains saturated by a much larger machine population than is needed, and licence controls on truck mounted cranes hinders the transfer of ownership. This means truck-mounted cranes are difficult to resell, even if they are repossessed by suppliers,” said Off-Highway Research.

More information

Off-Highway Research’s new report, ‘Chinese Equipment Analysis: Mobile Cranes’ is available to buy from the company’s on-line store. Click here for more details. The report, along with Off-Highway Research’s mid-year review on the Chinese construction equipment market is part of its Chinese Service subscription. Click here for more details.

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