Agricultural Mechanisation: A Complex Global Scenario

The President of FederUnacoma, Mariateresa Maschio, described to the assembly of manufacturers the market's potential as well as the array of economic and geopolitical variables that could hinder trade. A call for a more responsive and flexible support policy for the sector.

The demand for agricultural machinery is growing globally, but markets are fragmented, and the variables to manage are increasingly complex. This, in summary, is the scenario described by Mariateresa Maschio, President of the Italian Federation of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers, FederUnacoma, during the annual assembly held this afternoon at Palazzo Albergati in Zola Predosa (Bologna). The global trade of tractors has grown at an average annual rate of 4.7% over the past 15 years, and forecasts for the 2024-2027 period indicate an average annual increase of 4.9% - explained the President of FederUnacoma. Meanwhile, an even better trend is observed for other types of agricultural machinery and equipment, which have grown at an average rate of 5% per year over the last 15 years and are expected to grow at an average rate of 5.4% until 2027. However, for this forecast to materialise, we must hope that weather patterns— which have become increasingly unpredictable in recent years due to ongoing climate change— become more favourable, ensuring production volumes and agricultural incomes that encourage investment. On the industrial front as well - it was explained during the Assembly - insidious variables are represented by the cost of raw materials and energy. These could experience further increases if the conflict in the Middle East were to escalate, potentially driving up machinery prices and favouring countries that produce low-cost technologies, aiming to capture market shares even in Western markets. However, increasingly influential factors are those represented by geopolitical dynamics—from sanctions on Russia to import tariffs introduced by many countries and the protectionist policies of emerging economic powers like India and China—which can limit the export potential of the Italian industry. Geopolitics also influences trade routes and logistics costs - reminded the President of FederUnacoma. Consider that the systematic attacks by Yemeni Houthis on cargo ships transiting through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Suez Canal (crucial nodes in Euro-Asian connections) have already caused a collapse in transits (-65% at Bab el-Mandeb and -50% at Suez). This has forced ships to take alternative routes, with shipping costs more than doubling in May of this year compared to 2023. In the new scenario, there are still development opportunities for the agri-mechanical industry - it was emphasised during the FederUnacoma Assembly. Interesting markets for Italian producers could include Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, which are equidistant from the political blocs of China and the USA, as well as rapidly developing African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and others. Further impetus for activities on the African continent - it was also noted - should come from the Mattei Plan, to which the Federation can contribute by analysing needs and providing technological solutions. To mitigate critical factors and seize new opportunities - concluded President Mariateresa Maschio - stronger support from politics and institutions is needed, with differentiated programmes for accessing various foreign markets, and increasingly swift and flexible intervention and financial support tools.

The latest FederUnacoma press releases


Agricultural Machinery Industry: New Synergies to Tackle Markets

The Vice President of Confindustria, Maurizio Marchesini, the Deputy Secretary-General of FAO, Maurizio Martina, the President of ICE, Matteo Zoppas, and the economic analyst, Gabriele Pinosa, discuss strategies to address the new geography of agricultural production and agri-mechanical commerce. The assembly concludes with a message from the Minister of Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, highlighting the incentive system and announcing the G7 Meeting of Agriculture as an opportunity to promote Italian agricultural and agri-mechanical products.

"Machines for peace", FederUnacoma at the G7 Agricultural Summit

The year 2023 ends with a decline in tractor sales, but with an increase in revenue due to higher manufacturing costs. India remains the leader in terms of the number of units, while the United States and Europe record declines in sales, with a more substantial decrease observed in China. Climatic variables, as well as geopolitical factors, are increasingly crucial in different regions of the world.

Tractors: Sales Decline by 19% in the First 5 Months of the Year

The domestic market for agricultural machinery continues to decline. From tractors (-19.2%) to combine harvesters (-40%) and telescopic handlers (-28.3%), all types of agricultural machinery have seen a significant decline in sales compared to the same period in 2023. The decline is attributed to the reduction of 4.0 incentives, delays in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), and the stagnation of agricultural incomes.

Agricultural Machinery: Italian Production Exceeds 16 Billion

Exports drive the national industry to its highest value ever. The quantities produced remain slightly below the average of recent years, but the increase in list prices boosts revenue. Europe consolidates itself as the main market for made-in-Italy technologies, followed by the United States.

Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Federation
Digital System and technologies for Agricultural Machinery and Farming
Irrigation Systems
Italian Implements Manufacturers Association
Italian Self-Propelled Machinery Manufacturers Association
Italian Tractors Manufacturers Association
Italian Components Manufacturers Association
Italian Garden Machinery Manufacturers Association