FederUnacoma President highlights the complex global scenario of agricultural mechanisation

FederUnacoma president highlights the complex global scenario of agricultural mechanisation

Rome: The demand for agricultural machinery is growing globally, but markets are fragmented, and the variables to manage are increasingly complex. This, in summary, is the scenario described by Mariateresa Maschio, President of the Italian Federation of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers, FederUnacoma, during the annual assembly held Tuesday afternoon at Palazzo Albergati in Zola Predosa (Bologna).

According to the FederUnacoma president, the global trade of tractors has grown at an average annual rate of 4.7 per cent over the past 15 years, and forecasts for the 2024-2027 period indicate an average annual increase of 4.9 per cent – explained the President of FederUnacoma. Meanwhile, an even better trend is observed for other types of agricultural machinery and equipment, which have grown at an average rate of 5 per cent per year over the last 15 years and are expected to grow at an average rate of 5.4 per cent until 2027.

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However, for this forecast to materialise, FederUnacoma hopes that weather patterns— which have become increasingly unpredictable in recent years due to ongoing climate change— become more favourable, ensuring production volumes and agricultural incomes that encourage investment. On the industrial front as well – it was explained during the Assembly – the cost of raw materials and energy represents insidious variables. These could experience further increases if the conflict in the Middle East were to escalate, potentially driving up machinery prices and favouring countries that produce low-cost technologies, aiming to capture market shares even in Western markets.

However, increasingly influential factors are those represented by geopolitical dynamics—from sanctions on Russia to import tariffs introduced by many countries and the protectionist policies of emerging economic powers like India and China—which can limit the export potential of the Italian industry. Geopolitics also influences trade routes and logistics costs – which reminded the President of FederUnacoma. Consider that the systematic attacks by Yemeni Houthis on cargo ships transiting through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Suez Canal (crucial nodes in Euro-Asian connections) have already caused a collapse in transits (-65 per cent at Bab el-Mandeb and -50 per cent at Suez). This has forced ships to take alternative routes, with shipping costs more than doubling in May of this year compared to 2023. In the new scenario, there are still development opportunities for the agri-mechanical industry – it was emphasised during the FederUnacoma Assembly.

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Interesting markets for Italian producers could include Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, which are equidistant from the political blocs of China and the USA, as well as rapidly developing African countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and others. Further impetus for activities on the African continent – it was also noted – should come from the Mattei Plan, to which the Federation can contribute by analysing needs and providing technological solutions. To mitigate critical factors and seize new opportunities – concluded President Mariateresa Maschio – stronger support from politics and institutions is needed, with differentiated programmes for accessing various foreign markets, and increasingly swift and flexible intervention and financial support tools.

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