German Agricultural Machinery Industry On the Rise

Reports show that production of agricultural machinery in Germany is up, and looks to keep growing.

In recent months production in German agricultural machinery companies has been in high gear. Demand continues uninterrupted, as shown by current incoming orders. The VDMA Agricultural Machinery Association reports that manufacturers of agricultural machinery and tractors in Germany increased their turnover in the year 2011 by 27% to €6.98 billion. Following the economic downturn of 2009/2010, the industry thus again reached a very high level, exceeded somewhat only in the year 2008. “The speed with which orders received by agricultural machinery manufacturers climbed again surprised us. A year ago we did not anticipate such a significant upswing,” emphasizes Dr. Bernd Scherer, Managing Director of the VDMA Agricultural Machinery Association.

Tractors represent almost 50% of production volume

With a turnover of €3.41 billion, tractors currently represent 49% of the total German production volume: 60,600 tractors rolled off the assembly line, 19% more than in the previous year. One quarter of the tractors had an engine performance exceeding 150 hp (111 kW). In the past year, the greatest growth occurred in the production of harvesting machinery, previously at a low level. Turnover for new combines produced in Germany increased again to €961 million (as compared to the record value of €1,091 million in 2008). New turnover records were set in 2011 for forage harvesting machinery. There was also noticeable growth again for soil tillage equipment, as well as for seed drills and fertilising and plant protection machinery – with a considerably higher proportion of exports.

40% more machinery supplied to France

Overall, 72% of the agricultural machinery produced in Germany was exported. Due to parallel strong growth of the German market in recent years the export ratio remained relatively stable. France, the most important export market, was supplied with 40% more machinery.

In the past year, as a sales partner, France accounted for one sixth of the export earnings of German manufacturers. Russia was in second place as a purchaser of German agricultural machinery, again well ahead of the United Kingdom and the United States.

Around 36,000 tractors sold in Germany

Germany likewise contributed a strong economic impetus. With just under 36,000 tractors sold, sales figures were higher than for the past 28 years. In terms of value, the market volume achieved a new record last year, with a preliminary estimate of €4.9 billion. The German agricultural machinery industry has started the new year with full order books. From October to December 2011, the value of new orders was 26% higher than in the previous year.