Upward pressure on prices

17 June 2021

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Will buyers of new and used cranes have to pay a higher price for machines in the coming years?

In some manufacturers’ financial results for the first quarter of 2021, there are references to a number of parameters that could affect production. Steve Filipov, CEO of Manitex International said there are challenges with respect to logistics, supply chain, and input pricing that are typical at the early stages of a recovery. Palfinger talked about rising raw material prices, while Manitowoc’s CEO Aaron H. Ravenscroft talked about “significant inflationary pressures and a multitude of supply chain challenges." The question is whether these extra costs will lead to higher new crane prices.

In recent months, we have seen a number of companies (particularly from Germany and the UK) placing large orders for new machines. As the market is recovering, more companies will want to expand or update their fleet. If there are supply chain issues, will supply be able to meet demand?

Industry experts interviewed for this issue’s feature analysing the secondhand crane market, said there is already a limited availability of new machines in the market. This was cited as one of the reasons the used crane market has been extremely buoyant this year. The independent used crane sellers have already seen a considerably increase in prices of secondhand cranes compared to last year.

Talking about the demand for different crane types in Europe, Tiemen Reitsman international sales manager at Hovago, said he has noticed an increase in demand for rough terrain cranes. “Might that lead to a conclusion that Europe is finally discovering that RTs are a great solution for certain projects, or is it too early to draw that conclusion?”

Interestingly, a few weeks earlier, Tadano announced that it will start offering Japanese-manufactured rough terrain cranes to the European market. In May, the manufacturer announced that the first unit has arrived in the continent, a GR-700EX-4.

Although RTs are not very popular in Europe—they have a market in a few countries—a lot are manufactured in the continent. Looking at Italy; apart from local manufacturer Locatelli, Manitowoc and Terex also produce RTs in the country. Another global player soon to manufacture this crane type in Italy is Zoomlion, who has just opened a new plant. On page 30, the general manager of Zoomlion Europe Petre Babiceanu, talks about the new plant as well as new cranes in the pipeline. If the rough terrain crane market does grow in Europe, it will be interesting to see if the "new" players will be able to capture a good share of the market and how competition will affect prices.

Sotiris Kanaris, Editor
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