4th Quarter 2018:
Globally, a total of 1,221 units were delivered in Q4 2018. This represents only a 1% increase over the revised Q3 total but more than 30% vs. Q4 2017. However, the value of Q4 shipments increased by a more substantial 5.6% over Q3 as miners shifted some capex to larger-scale equipment, something that has lagged during the recovery/expansion to date.
It should also be noted that on average, quarterly reports have been revised upward by ~5% recently. For example, total 2017 shipments were originally reported at 3,285 but they now total 3,399. But even if Q4 2018 figures are revised upward, it appears evident that growth in equipment demand and subsequent shipments has been slowing now for three quarters. This may not signal a downturn and there are factors that could drive demand significantly higher. But optimism for 2019 should be tempered by other factors including projections of slowing global economic growth and the potential impact on mineral demand from international trade disputes.