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Tractors: World market at a record pace

 The global agricultural machinery market  is expected to continue its positive phase after posting strong growth in 2020 and further increase in 2021

FederUncoma 4 March Tractor market forecasts for 2022 formulated at the beginning of the year are positive, but the Russian-Ukrainian military crisis is changing the scenario. (Image source: FederUnacoma)

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 US$15.12bn. 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 increase in 2021 in all the main countries, as highlighted at the FederUnacoma press conference held this afternoon in Verona during Fieragricola. 

According to data published by the national manufacturers' association AEM, the United States closed the year with 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). According to data released by the European Manufacturers' Committee CEMA, the European market is also in the black, with an average increase of 16.6% 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. 

Malavolti explained during the conference that there are several reasons for this good performance, 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 US$136mn, up 29% on the previous year; and export figures for Ukraine show a total value of US$69.5mn, 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. 

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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