Mechanization and Technology

Agricultural machinery: turnover of Italian industries on the rise

05 July 2023, Italy: Demand for tractors, operating machinery, equipment and components remains at good levels, but turnover is growing beyond all expectations due to the sharp rise in prices. The value of Italian exports increased by 16.7% and pushed domestic production to EUR 15.5 billion. The value, however, does not correspond to a growth in profits, as the increase in sales prices covers the rise in production costs due to raw materials, energy and logistics.

The world market for tractors, agricultural machinery and components for agriculture grew substantially in 2022, and with it Italian exports, which will push production to an all-time high. The value of machinery sold globally totals 160 billion euro, up 10% from 145 billion in 2021. The increase in the agromec-canics business – which stems from a high level of demand combined with a sharp rise in prices – rewards Italian industry, which has always been competitive on foreign markets. Istat data on Italian exports in 2022 indicate for the items “tractors”, “agricultural machinery” and “incomplete tractors and parts” a total value of 7.3 billion euros, an increase of 16.7% compared to 2021. Driven by exports, the national industry achieves a turnover of 15.5 billion euros (+13.3% on 2021) – given by the sum of the production of tractors (2.4 billion), agricultural machinery (7 billion), incomplete tractors and parts (1.3 billion), plus components (3.8 billion) and gardening and landscaping (950 million) – which represents an all-time high for the sector. “The record figure does not correspond to an actual increase in profitability for the sector’s industries,” explained FederUnacoma President Alessandro Malavolti during the Federation’s General Meeting, held this afternoon at Palazzo Varignana (BO), “since the growth in list prices has essentially covered the increase in production costs due to raw materials, energy and logistics. In presenting the market and production data, Malavolti noted how the agricultural machinery trade has grown steadily since 2001, overcoming even the most difficult economic situations, including those caused by the 2020 pandemic and last year’s inflation. The tractor market – which reached a total of 2.5 million units in 2021 – is also expected to grow in the four years from 2023 to 2026, at an average annual rate of 4.5 per cent, while the market for other agricultural machinery is expected to grow at an annual rate of 5 per cent in the 2023-2026 period. “In the long term,” explained the President of FederUnacoma, “the demand for agricultural machinery is set to grow further if we consider that in 2050 the world population will reach almost 10 billion people, and that this will entail an increase in the demand for foodstuffs estimated at between 50 and 70%”. “In the coming years, Italian industry will still be a leading player,” concluded Malavolti, “despite competition from emerging countries offering low-cost mechanical equipment, in a context in which agricultural incomes do not always allow for investments in new-generation technologies”.

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