The 2017 market of machinery and equipment for gardening and the care of greenery came to a close with sales substantially in line with results for the previous year. Data elaborated by Comagarden, the manufacturers association, and Morgan Group Research statistics showed total sales by the end of last year at 1,220,632 units which included all types of machinery, from self-propelled machines to powered equipment as well as simple manual items.
For the percentages, the volume of sales declined by 0.6% under the 1,227,484 units chalked up in 2016 due mainly to the trend of the weather last year when rainfall was down by 30% under the historic average as reported by the Comagarden statistics office. This trend led to a sharp slowdown of the growth of plant vegetation resulting in the drop of demand for machinery. The result was a 4.5% decline of mowers, brush cutters down by 3%, trimmers off by 2.2%, bio mulchers falling by 9% and chainsaws 1.5% lower. On the other hand, gains were reported for types of machinery not closely associated with the management of vegetable mass but put to varied uses such as garden tractors with sales up by 7.3%, leaf blowers and vacuums for cleaning and maintenance in urban settings which rose by 15.9%. In the mowers sector, robotic mowers ran counter to the general basic trend with an increase by a total of about 7% at the end of the year for a surge of 18.5% over the previous year.
As regards the single units, the most substantial numbers were for chainsaws, with 340,000 sold, followed by mowers at 267,197 and 248,460 brush cutters. Just as the lack of rain had an impact on maintenance machinery, abundant snow in some areas of Italy drove up demand for snow clearance machines which shot up by 29.1% with sales reaching 5,195 units compared to 4,024 in the previous year.
Comagarden pointed out that weather is certain to condition the market throughout 2018 and that the bad weather with cold spells over the opening months of this year could compromise maintenance operations in the current season and thus lower demand for machinery.
Another variable to consider is the general economic trend. If recovery experienced in 2017 should continue, this could influence the purchase of machinery by public administrations, groundskeepers tending greenery and gardening enthusiasts. However, if these conditions should not be pursued, the market will show greater caution.