Tractors: World market at a record pace

02.03.2022
After posting strong growth in 2020, the tractor market will see further increases in all major countries in 2021. There are 318,000 new registrations in the USA, 180,000 in Europe and over 900,000 in India. Italian exports grew by 20%, and national production is estimated at 13.7 billion Euros. The forecasts for 2022 formulated at the beginning of the year are positive, but the Russian-Ukrainian military crisis is changing the scenario, and threatens to heavily influence the global economy.

The global agricultural machinery market continues its positive phase. Tractor sales - which in 2020, at the height of the pandemic crisis, had already recorded a global increase of 7.7% to 2,200,000 units - recorded further increases in 2021 in all the main countries, as highlighted at the FederUnacoma press conference held this afternoon in Verona during Fieragricola. The United States closed the year - according to data published by the national manufacturers' association AEM - with a total of 318 thousand tractors registered, up more than 10% compared to 288 thousand the previous year, while the Indian market consolidated its supremacy in terms of units sold by exceeding 900 thousand, an increase of 13%. High levels should have been reached by the Chinese market, for which the final 2021 figures are not yet available but which already recorded a record increase in 2020 (+47% against 470 thousand units sold). The European market is also in the black, with an average increase of 16.6%, according to data released by the European Manufacturers' Committee CEMA, with almost 180 thousand units registered compared to 154 thousand the previous year. France and Germany remained the largest markets in the European landscape, with 36 thousand and 35 thousand units respectively, with increases of 9.2% and 8.8%. Spain accounted for 11,700 units (+9.3%), the United Kingdom for 14,000 (+18%), while Poland stood out, recording an increase of almost 43%, with 20,200 machines registered, driven by the financing of the agricultural development plans operating in the country. Among the emerging markets, Turkey, recovering after the economic crisis of the last few years, registered 64 thousand units, up 33% compared to the previous year. Italy closed the year with an increase in tractors well above the European average of 36.6% or 24,400 units. There are several reasons for this good performance - Malavolti explained during the conference - including the positive balance of the agricultural year for grains, and the system of incentives that has been activated in many countries to support the primary sector and recovery after the pandemic crisis. The positive result at the global level favoured our exports - not only of tractors but also of agricultural operating machines, equipment and components - which recorded consistent increases during the year. In the eleven months from January to November - according to ISTAT data - foreign sales of Italian tractors increased by 20.8% in value, and other agricultural machinery by just under 20%, for an overall export growth of 20%. Marginal in the geography of our exports but growing in percentage terms are the shares destined for Russia and Ukraine, the countries involved in the dramatic conflict currently underway. Exports of Italian tractors and agricultural machinery to Russia in the eleven months from January to November 2021 were worth 124 million euros, up 29% on the previous year; and export figures for Ukraine show a total value of 63 million euros, up 52%. These volumes are still small (2.4% and 1.2% of total exports respectively) but with a very promising dynamic, before the sudden change in scenario. As far as the overall trend of our exports is concerned, it should be noted that - due to the growth in industrial production costs - this suffered a downturn in the second half of the year compared to the first, although maintaining positive indexes (in the first half of the year exports of tractors had risen by 57%, while at the end of the year, as mentioned, they were around 20%). This is reflected in the production of our industries, which have added to the good performance of the domestic market the good performance of foreign markets, and which estimate an overall growth in turnover in the current year of around 19% (referring to tractors, operating machinery, agricultural equipment, gardening and landscaping machinery and components), rising from 11.5 billion in 2020 to 13.7 billion estimated for 2021. Forecast surveys for 2022 made at the beginning of the year indicated increases in turnover in Europe in the first six months, but the Russian-Ukrainian military crisis is now a very influential variable for the economy as a whole, with effects that are still difficult to measure.


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