The world market for agricultural machinery recorded a clearly positive trend in 2017, albeit with very different percentages from country to country. There was formidable growth of India and China, which in the first 9 months of the year showed an increase in the sales of tractors respectively of 19% and 33%, and which are presumed to have exceeded by the end of the year the ceiling respectively of 600,000 and 500,000.
Furthermore, the Russian market (+20% in September) and Brazil (+11%) recorded an excellent performance, while the U.S. market at the end of the year achieved an increase of 4.5% due to over 220,000 registered tractors, a very positive figure for a country that already boasts a high level of mechanization and presents the typical dynamics of mature markets.
In 2016, Europe saw a total of 165,000 tractors registered, estimating in November an overall increase of between 2% and 3%, a percentage that is sure to increase in the year-end summary, due to the surge in registrations that took place in December. In view of the entry into force of the Mother Regulation - the new European legislation which, starting from January 2018, introduces new criteria for approvals - the sector's industries have adopted more marketing initiatives to put on the market the stock of machinery already produced and therefore not compliant with the new rules.
The acceleration imposed by the imminent application of the Mother Regulation appears more evident in those countries that have the largest market volumes: pending the final data for the entire roster of European countries, registrations are clearly growing in Germany, which shows an increase of 19.3% for the year (for 33,700 units), in Spain, which shows an increase of 8% (12,000 units), and above all in Italy, which achieves an extraordinary increase of 23.8% for its 22,700 registered tractors.
The national data on tractors is strengthened by that on tractors with loading platform (multi-purpose off-road vehicles) that scores +24.4% (963 units), while smaller increases have occurred for the types of machines less affected by the Mother Regulation, see the combine harvesters (+2%, for 350 units) and trailers (+1.4%, for 9,377 units).
"The increase in registrations is therefore the result of the push imposed by the new legislation," explained Alessandro Malavolti, Chairman of the Italian federation of manufacturers FederUnacoma, during a press conference held in Brussels at the European Parliament, "and should not be interpreted as the signal of a resounding and unexpected recovery of the market."
"However," added Malavolti "we believe this exorbitant figure contains a portion attributable to a spontaneous recovery of the market, favored by the full implementation of the European PSR funds, which fund, among other things, the purchase of machinery, and INAIL incentives for the purchase of machines with high safety standards."
"Beyond the 'bursts' caused by the regulatory factors and therefore external to the normal supply and demand dynamics," concluded Malavolti "we must aim towards an incentive system that is simplified and modulated on the characteristics of each individual country, and there must be continuity in the provision of incentives, because the market needs to stabilize on constant and guaranteed long-term fleet replacement rates."
Brussels, 25 January 2018