According to numbers sourced from national authorities, some 115,146 “tractors” were registered across Europe in the first six months of 2021.
Of these registrations, 32,353 vehicles were 37kW (50 hp) and under, and 82,793 were 38kW and above. The European Agricultural Machinery Association (CEMA) considers that 89,060 of these vehicles are agricultural tractors, the rest being quads, telehandlers or other equipment. These numbers confirm high levels of demand as farmers, contractors and all other actors of the European agri-food chain went through great efforts to ensure access to safe and nutritious food in times of a continuing pandemic.
Overall, 25% more agricultural tractors were registered across Europe in the first six months of 2021 compared to the first semester of 2020, badly hit by the pandemic. For manufacturers, Covid-19 production and distribution constraints gradually improved in 2021 but did not come back to normal.
Significant supply chain challenges remained, with new issues adding to ongoing problems as the world was recovering and competing for scarce supply. The European Union’s decision to postpone deadlines for machines using transition engines in the 56 to 129 kW range proved essential to help industry manage through these extraordinary times.
According to the latest CEMA barometer, the general Business Climate Index for the Agricultural Machinery Industry in Europe seems to have reached its peak in the months of May and June (with highest levels since 2008). In September, the index decreased slightly for the third month in a row at a high level (to 63 points on a scale of -100 to +100). The drop this time is the result of some companies evaluating their current business slightly less favourably.
Uncertainty continues as to what extent the orders can be realized against the backdrop of extreme price increases and shortages on the supplier side. Meanwhile, 40% of the companies expect a production stop due to a lack of certain parts in the coming month.
On the other hand, demand from end customers in Europe seems to remain robust. The industry still sees a high need for investment for almost all of Europe, especially among farmers within Central to Eastern Europe. Accordingly, the regional breakdown shows for each single European market a majority of survey participants expecting turnover increases in the next six months, with the CIS countries having moved up the most in the market ranking.
Against this background, the European industry representatives remain confident of closing the year with strong results. With regard to the full year 2021, the survey participants expect for their company a turnover increase of +13% (arithmetic mean) or +10% (median).
According to the CEMA figures, the total number of registrations for Ireland for the first six months of 2021 was 2179 vehicles, of which 71% were agricultural tractors. This compares to 1728 vehicles for the same period in 2020, an increase of 26%.