Spanish recovery still out of sight as Smopyc show opens

By Murray Pollok05 April 2011

Manuel Teruel Izquierdo, president of Feria de Zaragoza, at the opening of the Smopyc exhibition.

Manuel Teruel Izquierdo, president of Feria de Zaragoza, at the opening of the Smopyc exhibition.

The Smopyc exhibition in Zaragoza, Spain, opened today (Tuesday 5 April) with little signs that the Spanish construction market is recovering from its dramatic slump of the past two and a half years.

That is reflected in exhibitor numbers, with 1253 companies attending this year compared to the 2014 who attended the last show in 2008. However, Smopyc has managed to maintain the exhibit space at 300000 m2, just 25% down on 2008.

Manuel Teruel Izquierdo, president of Feria de Zaragoza, which organises the exhibition, told IRN that Spain's market remained in "standby" mode, but that Smopyc remained a great platform for Spanish and other manufacturers to sell to a world market. "There are 189 delegations from 40 countries attending the show", he said, "It is an interesting platform for people to come and see equipment, independent of the Spanish market."

Mr Izquierdo said he was also encouraged by the preregistration figures for visitors to the show. The 2008 edition attracted more than 100000 visitors.

Spain's construction sector remains depressed. Oscar Bravo Peralta, director general of Barloworld MERA, the Spanish Caterpillar dealer and rental company, told IRN that the Spanish market for construction machines in Cat's product range was around 80-85% lower than the peak, with approximately 2500-3000 total units likely to be sold this year compared to more than 20000 at the top of the cycle.

"This year and the first half of next year will be very low", he told IRN, "After that we will start to build houses again. Our population is growing - we have around 48 million people and there is a good growth trend....In one and a half years we will also have national elections - this is another hope we have to improve activity levels."

The country´s rental sector, meanwhile, continues to struggle, with the total market down between 60% and 80% from 2007. The president of the new Spanish rental confederation, ConfalQ (combining ANAPAT, ASEAMAC and Fanagrumac), Cesar Caudevilla, told IRN that it could be two to five years before a meaningful recovery began.

Jose Maria Marsal Minguella, the GAM executive who is president of aerial platform association ANAPAT, said there remained 20-30% overcapacity in Spanish rental fleets, and there was little prospect of a return to investment, "Companies already have debt that they are having to manage today, so they don´t want more."

The Smopyc exhibition runs from Tuesday 5 April to Saturday 9 April.

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