Crane market overview

25 April 2008

ConExpo Asia comes at a time where the Chinese market is showing signs of the government-introduced slowdown. Crane sales figures are still extremely high, however, with just under 11,000 mobile cranes sold in 2005, according to Off Highway Research. Truck mounted cranes accounted for 95% of this figure with the 8 and 30 tonne capacity classes proving to be the busiest. Domestic manufacturers, including Zoomlion, XCMG, Puyuan, and Changjiang dominate the truck mounted sector.

The all terrain market accounts for around 40 new cranes a year, mostly in the 100 tonne and above capacity classes. Off Highway Research says that Liebherr holds 70% market share in the all terrain sector, followed by Grove.

Demand for crawler cranes dipped slightly to 288 units in 2005, but even this number made China one of the world's busiest markets. Of this total, 65% were under 80 tonnes destined for general construction applications, while the balance were made up of machines in the 200 to 1,250 tonne superlift capacity to be used on large projects such as power plant construction.

Domestic manufacturers are increasingly eroding the market share held by importers in the crawler crane sector, especially in the under 150 tonne class. Fushun Excavator has achieved a 45% share in this sector, OHR says. XCMG, Sany, Zoomlion and Puyuan all increased their market share, while the Japanese suppliers saw a fall in their deliveries because of weakening demand for cranes in the 200 tonne 300 tonne capacity range. At the same time Liebherr, Terex-Demag and Manitowoc made advances in the over 300 tonne class, the OHR report says.

Given the large population of relatively new machines that has accumulated in the last three years, Off Highway Research says it is likely that there will be a pause in the market and demand should remain steady at around 9,000 to 10,000 units a year to the end of the decade. There will continue to be a trend towards larger truck-mounted cranes, rental will become more of a feature of the market, and crawler cranes might be faced with a slowdown given the curb on power plant construction, OHR says.

• For more details or to buy the Off-Highway Research report and other information please visit www.offhighway.co.uk or contact Off-Highway Research Limited in the UK on Tel: +44 (0)20 7404 1128

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