2nd Quarter 2018:
This latest report marks two full years of growth since markets bottomed out in Q2 2016. Since then, deliveries have tripled yet remain well below the peak level achieved in 2012. Compared to Q1 2018, unit shipments are up 7% and 33% year-over-year. The value of shipments is estimated to have been virtually unchanged over the past three months. The divergence of units and value stems largely from the product mix with most Q2 increases recorded for smaller dozers, drills and graders. In contrast, truck deliveries (which account for the majority of units and value shipped) increases by less than 1%. Hydraulic shovels/excavators increased by 27%; crawler and wheel dozers = 37%, motor graders = 42%; drills = 83%. Wheel loaders and electric/rope shovels declined and continue to lag behind the other product lines during the current expansion cycle.
The distribution by mineral sectors shifted, to a degree, away from coal, gold and oil sands and toward copper, iron and other metals. However, the gains in the latter were relatively modest and do not yet reflect major investments in new or expanding capacity among these very large-scale operations. Geographically the largest gains were recorded by mines in Africa (+53%) and Latin America (+31%), but mines in Australasia and Russia/CIS continue as the largest destinations for new equipment; this despite quarterly increases of just 6% respectively. North American shipments declined by over 30%. While some of these changes may reflect secular trends (e.g., contraction of North American coal), others may simply result from short-term timing of individual mines’ requirements.