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Agricultural Machinery: world market racing ahead

With the sale of over two million units around the world in 2013 the tractor market displayed growth of 10% over 2012 up to a total value of 93 billion euro. India took up 620,000 units to confirm the country as the world's leading market while France and Germany put in good showings and Italy reported a further decline

by Giovanni M. Losavio
February 2014 | Back

The positive global trend of sales on tractor markets was continued in 2013 with the number of units moved extending beyond 2.1 million for a 10% increase over 2012 according to the data reported by Agrievolution, the association of the world's leading agricultural machinery manufacturers associations. The total value of sales in this agricultural machinery sector was estimated at 93 billion euro. With sales in India climbing 16% over the 2012 figure to reach 620,000 units the country was again confirmed as the world's top tractor market followed by China with 445,000 units powered at over 18 kW sold. Though the data on China disclosed a positive 15% gain over 2012 also indicated was a degree of slowdown compared to the growth levels reported for previous years. The Agrievolution statistics pointed to substantial gains for Brazil's market where 65,000 tractors were sold for a 17% increase over 2012, for Japan, up 15% with 55,000 tractors moved, and the United States where 200,000 machines were sold in 2013 for a 9% gain. Also on the positive side was Turkey, ahead 2% with 51,000 units sold, but showing a weaker result compared to more dynamic countries.

  I primi riscontri del nuovo anno non sembrano migliori giacché, all’incremento delle trattrici nel mese di gennaio (+7,3%, dovuto in buona parte alle immatricolazioni, a dicembre 2013, delle trattrici con motori conformi alla fase III e quindi non aggiornati rispetto ai nuovi parametri 2014) ha fatto subito riscontro un calo del 6,4% nelle immatricolazioni del mese di febbraio, che riporta il mercato in condizioni di sostanziale stagnazione. Confortanti, invece, i dati relativi alla produzione assoluta di trattrici, macchinari e relativi componenti (valore stimato intorno ai 7,7 miliardi di euro), trainata dalla domanda globale e di conseguenza dal buon andamento delle esportazioni. Al riguardo, i dati Istat sul commercio estero segnavano a novembre 2013 un aumento complessivo del 5%,

France and Germany leaders in Europe

The figures for the European Union, where 2013 tractors sales rose 2% over 2012 to 158,000 units, reflected differentiated markets with some, including France and Germany, in good health with sales above the average for the continent and others, especially Italy, still having a hard time in putting recession conditions in the past. Tractor registrations in France rose to 42,600 machines for growth of 10% to confirm a strong four-year period with sales climbing 46% from 2010 to 2013. Germany closed the year at 36,250 tractors moved, the same number as the previous year's in the wake of the 2011 surge of plus 26%. Tractor registrations in Italy, on the other hand, slipped 1.7% off the 2012 level down to 19,000 while  transporter registrations took a 16.7% dive and trailers were down 5.7%. (See Mondo Macchina/Machinery World no. January 2014) The first results for the new year did not appear to signal any improvement in that gains in tractor sales in January of 7.3% were due mainly to December 2013 registrations of units in conformity with Phase III norms and thus not updated for the new 2014 norms. Immediately after came a 6.4% drop in registrations in February which returned the market back to substantial stagnation. More comforting, on the other hand, were data on agricultural machinery manufacturers who witnessed growth in 2013 in tractor production and other machinery and components to a value estimated at 7.7 billion euro led by global demand generating exports. In this connection, ISTAT (National Statistics Institute) data on foreign trade disclosed an increase of 5% up to November 2013 to firm up the positive trend of 31% over the 2009-2012 period. In substance, international market dynamics have allowed the Italian mechanization sector to approach the production levels prior to the 2008 financial and economic crisis when sales reached around 8.2 billion euro but recovery has been incomplete thus far because of the ongoing negative trend of the domestic market.

Future scenarios

According to the Italian federation of agricultural machinery manufacturers, FederUnacoma, recovery in the short term may be brought about for the domestic market which is, however, still conditioned by low profitability and the weak structure of farming enterprises. On the other hand, Nomisma working for FederUnacoma, stressed the points that farms have not only drastically cut agricultural machinery acquisitions over the past five years – 28% of these enterprises have invested in mechanization whereas the other 72% made no such investments – but with the exception of the contracting sector, most of them intend to make purchases in the coming three years. A very different scenario is put forth by Agrievolution for the world markets which are expected to remain dynamic in 2014. The association said growth in the primary sector and rationalizations through economies of scale and increasing productivity will continue to drive global demand though units sales could slip to levels lower than those for 2014 for total sales at some 90.5 billion euro. 


BOX - Also Japan joins the Agrievolution club

With the arrival of JAMMA, the Japan Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association, the number of Agrievolution members has risen to twelve. Since 2012, the alliance has brought together the agricultural machinery manufacturers associations in the leading countries of the world. Membership now stands at those in the United States, India, Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Turkey, South Korea, the European Union, Russia and Japan. The purpose of the alliance is to foster agreed initiatives in the areas of industrial policy and government policy and the sharing of statistics for global work aimed at furthering and promoting the development of the primary sector and agromechanization called on, today more than ever, to play a central role in agriculture. Thanks to the entry of JAMMA, which represents 64 Japanese agricultural machinery manufacturers, Agrievolution is strengthening the alliance's activities in the Far East, a region strategic in industrial production as well as in agriculture.



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