Agricultural machinery: partnership between Italy and UK strengthened
Demand for agricultural machinery in the UK remains dynamic in the first quarter of 2022, albeit with lower volumes than in the same period of 2021. Technical and commercial cooperation between the UK and Italy is strong and will be further enhanced at EIMA International in November in Bologna.
Sales of tractors in the United Kingdom fell in the first quarter of the year, although they continued to show some dynamism after the high increases seen in the same period in 2021 (+14.8%). Figures released by the British Manufacturers' Association show a 6.8% contraction for the first three months of 2022, with 3,441 tractors sold, broadly in line with the average European trend (-5.26%, with 39,713 units registered). The figures were presented this morning during the press conference held organized by the Italian Trade Agency in cooperation with FederUnacoma (the Federation of Italian agricultural machinery manufacturers) in Birmingham, at Lamma, the international exhibition dedicated to agricultural machinery and equipment.
During the press conference, the speakers explained that the market in Great Britain expresses high demand, especially in the medium and medium-low horsepower segments (141 to 160 horsepower and 51 to 100 horsepower respectively). These are bucking the trend of the sector as a whole in the first quarter, with an increase in sales of almost 10%. On the other hand, the 241 to 320 horsepower segment recorded significant losses of more than 30%. According to the British Manufacturers' Association, this sharp contraction is due to long delays in the delivery of machines as a result of critical logistics and raw material markets. A significant proportion of United Kingdom demand for machinery is met by Italian manufacturers: ISTAT data compiled by FederUnacoma shows that the UK is the fifth largest destination market for Italian agricultural machinery exports, after France, USA, Germany and Spain. "Between 2020 and 2021, the value of our exports grew significantly, mainly thanks to the contribution of self-propelled machinery and agricultural equipment, which increased by 103%, from 106 million euros to 215 million euros overall," explained Alessandro Malavolti, President of the Italian Manufacturers' Federation during the conference, "while tractors were slightly down on the previous year, still holding a value of 55.3 million euros. Today, "added Malavolti, "the UK accounts for 4.8% of Italian exports of agricultural machinery, but there are prospects for further development”.
In the agricultural machinery sector, the commercial partnership between Italy and Great Britain is strengthening, as confirmed by the presence of British operators at EIMA International, the world exhibition of agricultural technology held in Bologna every two years. The latest editions of the event have in fact recorded an increase in the number of UK businesspeople, whose number - before the pandemic - had exceeded 1,400, making the British one of the largest foreign representations. The next edition of EIMA International, to be held from 9 to 13 November, is also expected to see a large number of buyers from Great Britain. "The Bologna exhibition," concluded Malavolti, "is an extraordinary showcase for innovation, and thanks to the vast range of technologies on display and solutions of absolute excellence, it offers the most advanced machinery for every model of agriculture".
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