Gardening machines: market in decline
With a 23.1% drop in the first three months of the year, the gardening sector is suffering from the health emergency. The March figure, characterized by the sharp reduction in activities, affected the balance sheet for the quarter and saw almost all product segments decline. Battery-powered models are still growing, on average for the quarter. According to Comagarden and the Morgan survey group, sales will pick up from May, but last year's levels cannot be recovered. A 9% decline is expected at the end of the year.
In the first quarter of 2020, the market for gardening machines and equipment was affected by the "Covid 19 effect" with a decrease of 23.1% compared to the same period last year. This is what emerges from the data processed by the Italian association of manufacturers Comagarden and the Morgan statistical survey group. The consequences of the pandemic made themselves felt especially with the lockdown in March, which resulted in a sharp slowdown for almost all types of machines. Brushcutters and trimmers closed the quarter with a decrease of 34.4% and 25.1% respectively, while for tractors the contraction in sales amounted to 19%. There were heavy losses also in the lawnmower sector (-32.6%), although battery-powered models were essentially stable, with limited losses (-1.7%). The growing appeal of electric machines also characterized the performance of battery-powered blowers and chainsaws. In the case of blowers, the data referring to the sector as a whole saw a significant reduction in sales (-28.1%), while the battery-powered models, driven by the excellent results in the first two months of the year, improved their performance compared to 2019 (+23.3%). This trend is even more evident in the case of chainsaws: while the overall sales figure shows a slight decrease compared to last year (-4.9%), the one referring only to battery-powered models achieves a real exploit, with a 136% increase. Snowploughs offer a completely different scenario, closing the first quarter of 2020 with a very heavy drop (-86%). It was not the Covid 19 pandemic that weighed on this product category, but the anomalous trend of the winter season, the second mildest ever after the 2007-2008 one, according to the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC-CNR). In a scenario characterized by a generalized contraction in sales, the robotic lawnmower sector goes against the trend. It is marked by a significant increase in sales (+9.1%), according to an expansion trend that has been underway steadily since 2014. The results are positive also for pole pruners (+11%) and sprayers (+28.9%).
According to the forecasts of Comagarden and the Morgan survey group, the coming months, once the strictly emergency phase is over, will be characterized by a recovery in the market. We will see a reduction in the deficit, but the losses will still be substantial (-9%), due to the impossibility of recovering the market share that was closely linked to spring maintenance, largely suspended precisely because of the health emergency.
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BolognaFiere and FederUnacoma establish a "Technical Group of Safety Experts" in preparation for the world exhibition of agricultural machinery, which will take place from 3 to 7 February 2021. In addition to the health protocols already required for all exhibition events, EIMA International implements additional initiatives that take into account the specific characteristics. Strengthening of security personnel, speeding up accesses, special APPs to control the flow of the public in the various areas of the exhibition centre; these are just some of the measures announced to make the Bologna exhibition even safer. The digital Preview, which will be held on a virtual platform from 11 to 15 November, will be very useful, allowing operators to pre-select the areas of interest and optimize their calendar of meetings at the Exhibition.
The path towards the first edition of the virtual exhibition of agricultural machinery follows a calendar that includes technical deadlines, and communication and training initiatives.The Digital Preview, which takes place from 11 to 15 November, precedes the physical event of February 2021, whose logistical and health aspects are being perfected.
The portal area dedicated to conferences and cultural events is particularly rich and dynamic. In the five days of the Digital Preview, institutions, associations and specialized publishing houses will create a calendar of online events. These will be interesting not only because of the selected topics, but also for the captivating presentation methods and innovative languages.
Scheduled in Bologna from 3 to 7 February, the great event of agricultural machinery ensures compliance with rigorous safety standards that supplement national and international regulations with organizational and logistical criteria specifically designed for this exhibition. Among the most significant innovations, the wi-fi control room for monitoring the crowding of the exhibition venues, the task force responsible for controlling any gatherings, and the booking service for refreshment points.