UK exports of construction and earthmoving equipment are continuing to show signs of stabilising in recent quarters, according to the UK’s Construction Equipment Association (CEA).

It said that UK exports of construction and earthmoving equipment had been on a declining trend since 2013, reflecting weak demand in many of the major overseas markets.

Paul Lyons, CEA’s market information manager, said that exports in the January to March period, in volume terms, were at 81,400 tonnes – similar levels to the last two quarters of 2015.

January to March 2016 levels were up by 0.3% on October to December levels, and only 0.7% down on the levels of January to March 2015.

In value terms, exports showed a 4.5% increase in January to March compared with October to December at £351 million (€460.75 million), but were still 1% down on January to March 2015 levels.

The CEA said that UK imports of construction and earthmoving equipment had been on a rising trend since 2013, reflecting modest improvement in demand in the domestic market. However, imports in the last two quarters have been below levels in the previous three quarters. In January to March 2016, imports were 58,900 tonnes, and showed a 36.3% increase on very low October to December 2015 levels, but were still 8.5% below January to March 2015 levels.

Lyons said that measured in volume terms, the trade gap had narrowed in January to March 2016, with net exports at 22,500 tonnes more than imports, compared with 37,900 tonnes in October to December. However, he added that this was above the levels of the first three quarters of 2015, when the gap was less than 18,000 tonnes.

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