The news in 2011 that huge infrastructure projects were under way in South America has resulted in a good start to 2012. Recent announcements include 5000 km of new highways under construction in Brazil and four major initiatives worth an estimated US$ 30 billion in Columbia which include highways, seaports, airports, railways and river ways. With mining in Chile, the global message is that heavy construction equipment and mining machinery is on this particular shopping list. World buyers from South America are looking for quality used excavators with Caterpillar and Hitachi being preferred brands.
At the end of 2011, analysts predicted that activity in the UAE would flatten during 2012 and contractors would experience a tough 12 months. With cost of labour, material and plant remaining constant in 2012 and with little new infrastructure projects to tender for until 2013, activity has been slow. The value of cancelled construction project in MENA rose by 8% in Q1 of 2012. The result is approximately $719bn of construction works put on the backburner or cancelled altogether, with over 50% of these projects being in the UAE. Heavy equipment destined for infrastructure and cancelled canal projects (777s, 789s and 797s) is now moving out of the Middle East to where it’s needed most – Australia.
Where last year the trend was to hang onto machinery until the price changed, that time has now come. With smaller projects still moving forward, there is a need for lighter machines such as graders, dozers, backhoes and wheeled loaders. CAT is still number one and demand has shifted to older models up to the six years old with low hours.
Russia continues to see growth, which is converting into demand for plant and machinery. Large civil engineering projects, including the 2012 APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation) Summit in Vladivostok and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, are contributing to the need for construction machinery and equipment.
In February, the complicated transportation upgrade was taken a step closer to finalisation with the completion of the main Olympic transportation tunnel. Also, with the 2018 FIFA World Cup being played in Russia the need for improved infrastructure is paramount, with new cities to build and new stadiums and airports to construct.
Russia is actively seeking earthmoving and road building machinery of all makes, models and size. Most sought after machinery for Russia includes backhoe excavators, mobile excavators and tracked excavators.
North & Central Africa
In early 2011 North Africa saw demand for plant and machinery come to a grinding halt due to the ‘Arab Spring’. With peace and confidence returning to the region, buyers from Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria and Morocco are trading again. The first quarter of 2012 has seen countries in the region purchasing and demand is increasing. The main machinery requirement is for older models of CAT wheeled loaders, large generators and compressors as well as older model agricultural tractors.
African nations always have interest at auction. In Q1 countries such as Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa have been buying well. The improvement in these markets has shown a marked interest in larger pieces of equipment. With logging and mining continuing in West Central Africa, currently Ghana and Nigeria have a good appetite for equipment.