Australia’s mining machinery imports have experienced their biggest fall since the global financial crisis, according to one of the nation’s largest freight carriers.
In the last two months of 2011 Skelton Sherborne said Australia’s heavy machine imports had dropped by nearly 62.5 per cent.
The company said the data contradicted claims the mining boom was going strong despite the weak global economy.
Skelton Sherborne director Brad Skelton told AAP mining companies had a more reserved outlook than most people thought.
He said the financial woes of Europe in particular looked to be weighing on the industry.
“If everything is as wonderful as [mining companies] say, why is there a slowdown in the last two months in the volume of equipment coming into the country?” he said.
As well as measuring heavy machinery imports the company said its tyre index showed heavy machinery tyre imports had also fallen dramatically late last year.
Skelton said if Europe’s financial woes worsened he expected an extra drop in machinery imports to the tune of 50 per cent.
Despite Skelton’s figures mining equipment maker Caterpillar posted record earnings on Friday.
The company said much of its strong performance was linked to rising demand from the resources sector.