Trend reversal for the gardening machinery and equipment market which, after the heavy decline at the beginning of the year (-23.1%), returned to growth in the second quarter, recording a 13.5% increase compared to the same period of 2019. However, the recovery was not enough to compensate for the severe halt recorded in the first quarter, whose performance was heavily influenced by the lockdown, so the overall figure for the first 6 months of the year shows a negative balance of 7%.
This is what emerges from the data processed by the Italian association of manufacturers of gardening machinery and equipment, Comagarden, and by the Morgan statistical survey group, released recently during the General Meeting of FederUnacoma, the Italian association of manufacturers of agricultural machinery, of which Comagarden is an integral part.
"With all the precautions related to the developments of the pandemic," Comagarden observes, "we can safely say that the most acute phase of the emergency is now behind us. The growth of the second quarter was influenced by factors both of an economic nature (a market inclined to recover the ground lost during the weeks of production stoppage), and weather/climatic conditions, with a spring season particularly favorable to vegetative growth of plants. However, the recovery seen in the second semester may also have been influenced by people rediscovering gardening during the quarantine, when, according to a recent survey by Nomisma, 7% of Italians began to garden. Also according to Nomisma, the audience of Italian green lovers—people who take care of the greenery in vegetable gardens or on the balcony or terrace of their home— reached 19 million, up by 3 million units compared to 2019."
As regards the individual types of machines and equipment, there was a double-digit loss for lawn tractors (-15.6%) and lawn mowers (-12.4%), while brushcutters and blowers managed to contain losses below 10% (respectively: -9.6% and -9%). Negative balance also for robotic lawnmowers (-3.9%), which still held at levels not too far from those of 2019, while the figure for chainsaws remains essentially unchanged (-0.9%). In contrast to the general trend of the sector, trimmers and pole pruners saw sales grow, with increases of 6.3% and 11.6%. In this scenario, the strong growth of atomizers and sprayers stands out; in the first half of 2020 they posted +44% compared to 2019. "The strong demand for this type of machine," observes the manufacturers' association "is explained by the fact that in the past weeks atomizers and sprayers have been used not only for traditional gardening uses, but also for sanitizing spaces against COVID-19."
According to the estimates of Comagarden and the Morgan survey group, the second half of the year could see a further slight recovery, with a year-end decline that should amount to 6.4%, which is an improvement compared to the acute phase of the crisis. For the next few months, market trends appear to be linked to the weather and climate conditions of autumn. A season with mild temperatures and good sunshine could be a driving force in the demand for gardening machinery and equipment.