The data on registrations of tractors, combine harvesters, tractors with loading platforms, trailers and telescopic handlers, shows an increase in sales in the first months of 2017. A drop in investments in the central part of the year might occur as a consequence of the frost, followed by drought, which hit the country during the spring months; despite this, however, the final balance should remain positive. Registrations in Germany, United Kingdom and Spain are in surplus, sales in China and India are on the rise, while the Unites States and Turkey show signs of decrease.
Registrations of agricultural machines highlight a growth in the first 5 months of the year, and seem to indicate that the final balance for the year 2017 will remain positive. Following a long period of recession, which has characterized the national market and has lasted for about one decade, sales of tractors and agricultural machinery are rising. The data for the period January-May – released during the annual assembly of FederUnacoma being held at Varignana (BO) – indicate a 7.2% increase in sales of tractors (7,953 machines compared to the 7,422 of the same period in the previous year), a 7.1% increase for combine harvesters (91 units, against 85 of the same period in 2016), and an increase also in sales of tractors with loading platforms (+1.3% equivalent to 324 machines, against the 320 of the first 5 months of 2016) and of trailers (+2.3%, 3.809 units against the 3,724 of 2016). Also a substantial increase in sales of agricultural telescopic handlers has been recorded, of 13.2% in the first 5 months, with 402 units registered.
According to FederUnacoma, the increase in sales of tractors, particularly consistent in the regions of Veneto, Piemonte, Lazio, Emilia Romagna and Campania, is in part due to a natural trend of recovery following many years of downturn, and in part to the regional calls for access to the PSR funds. The outgoing President of FederUnacoma Massimo Goldoni stated that “it is probable that sales will drop in the central months of the year, because of the frost in winter months, followed by lack of precipitations during spring, which damaged production and the income of farmers. Despite this, however, forecasts point to positive market indices at the end of the year, also as an effect of INAIL incentives for the purchase of new generation machinery.”
Signs indicating national recovery are to be viewed in the context of an increase in sales in many European countries: in the first 3 months of the year increases in registrations of tractors in Germany went up by 5.7%, by 26.4% in the United Kingdom, 22.3% in Spain, 4.9% in Belgium, and 12.6% in Denmark; the French market on the other hand was negative (-25.9%) as was the final balance of 2016 (-6%). At a global level the data available at present, relevant to the first 3 months of the year and regarding over 30 hp tractors, indicates an acceleration of the two Asian giants, with an imposing growth in China (183,000 machines in the first 3 months, equal to an increase of 47% compared to the same period of the previous year), and a substantial growth in India (about 108,000 machines, a 15% increase compared to the first 3 months of 2016); while a 7% decrease is recorded in the United States, with 15,600 new machines registered, and in Turkey (-3% for 11,500 tractors). Goldoni also commented that in the near future the commercial development of agricultural machinery will be strongly influenced by political variables, for instance by the Brexit negotiations, the commercial policies announced by Donald Trump, relationship with Russia, the political climate in Turkey, and the outcome of conflicts in the Middle East and in Arab countries, which hinder plans for agricultural development that would have important consequences also in terms of agricultural mechanization.