A downturn in exports due to falling demand in foreign markets led to a reduction in the production of Italian agricultural machinery in 2016. FederUnacoma data point to output decreasing by 2.2% in 2016 compared to 2015 when a negative trend was already apparent. A market recovery likely for the current year should improve the final balance sheet.
Lowering demand for tractors and other agricultural machinery was seen over the past 2 years throughout Europe with repercussions for the Italian industry experiencing significant reductions in production volumes. Following a negative 2015 when Italian tractor production fell 9.4% and 8.9% in value, production was also down by less so in 2016, off by 3.4% with 54,800 units turned out with a value of € 1.82 billion.
For other types of machinery and equipment, 2015 was basically stable and went on to decline in 2016 by 1.6% in weight, 638,000 tons of total production, and 2.6% in value, at € 4.3 billion. Overall, Italian production reached 897,000 tons for a 1.6% decline under the previous year with value put at € 7.3 billion, down 2.2%.
Export data confirm that lowered production is the direct consequence of a fall in demand on foreign markets led by the European markets which account for the lion’s share of Italian exports, especially France’s standing showing the biggest shutdown of agricultural machinery Made in Italy.
According to the Italian National Statistics Institute, ISTAT, data on exports, 2016 came to a close at the value of € 1.26 billion for tractors for a 4% decrease under the previous year and the value of € 294 billion for other agricultural machinery, a drop of 2.7%. Bringing in incomplete tractors and parts, this value came to € 586 million for a drop of 2.3% under 2015.
The Italian export trend over the first 4 months of the current year showed no improvement for tractors but other agricultural machinery and equipment were on the positive side. ISTAT data on the first quarter, in fact, pointed to a 7.4% drop in value for tractor exports apparently closely associated with the French market crisis conditions and a decline for the United States, whereas other machinery exports rose 14%.
According to FederUnacoma assessments, a market comeback over the current year should lead to the recovery of exports with prospects for a return of the positive trend consistently held on international markets by Made in Italy machinery.