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“When 2005 is over, mining manufacturers will have sold up to US$3 billion worth of the largest loading and hauling equipment to the world’s surface mines,” said Bristol Voss, President of AllMining ( Voss was commenting on some exclusive assessments of how the current year’s business is winding up provided by The Parker Bay Company, an Erie-PA based mining research firm, for AllMining of New York.

“In the first nine months of 2005, mining supplier shipment figures beat all of 2004,” said Voss. 1443 units of surface mining-sized equipment were sold with a market value of US$2.586 billion, according to Parker Bay. Manufacturers haven’t reported fourth quarter shipments yet, noted Voss. “When we extrapolate Parker Bay figures, we come up with total sales approaching 2,000 units with a market value topping US$3.2 billion,” said Voss.

“It marks the second year in a row of all-out demand for the mining trucks and the large loading equipment – shovels, excavators and loaders – made by such suppliers as Bucyrus, Caterpillar, Hitachi, Komatsu, Liebherr, LeTourneau, P&H, and Terex/O&K,” said Voss.

In all of 2004, 1404 units of mining equipment were sold with a market value of US$2,194 billion. “Notably, the year 2004 was no slouch,” said Voss. “It marked the conclusion of five consecutive years of very lean sales, one of the longest periods of depressed equipment sales activity in the past half-century.”

Creating more manufacturing jobs in USA

Suppliers entered 2005 with lead times as much as 12 months. “One indicator of the strength of the current upturn was the announcement by Bucyrus that it was making its first major expansion at its South Milwaukee facility – for the first time since the mid-1970’s,” said Voss of the 125-year old shovel, drill, and dragline manufacturer.

“Tires, in particular, have been scarce with some sizes taking 18 months to deliver,” said Voss. In December 2005, Michelin said it was increasing capacity at its South Carolina earthmover tire plant, on top of building new facilities in Spain and Brazil.

Tied to record-high commodity prices, boom to continue into 2006

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