Supply Chain Price Increases and Bottlenecks Lead to Negative First Six Months for Tractor Registrations in 2022
15 Dec, 2022 - Overall, some 108,800 tractors were registered across Europe in the first six months of 2022, according to numbers sourced from national authorities. Of these registrations, 31,900 tractors had an engine power of 37kW (50 hp) and under and 76,900 of 38kW and above. CEMA considers that 81,800 of these vehicles are agricultural tractors. The rest are made up of a variety of vehicles which are sometimes classified as tractors, which includes quad bikes, side-by-sides, telehandlers or other equipment. An overview of the total tractor registrations can be found in the annex, including an indication of the proportion of registrations in each country which can be classified as agricultural tractors.
Agricultural tractor registrations for the first semester decreased by 8.1%, compared with the opening six months of 2021. The number of machines registered in each month of the year to date has been lower than a year before. However, while the year started almost on a par with 2021 for January 2022 (-2% vs 01/21) and February 2022 (-5%), further disruptions linked to the current geopolitical situation added their impact and registrations declined more sharply in March (-7%), April (-12%), May (-5%) and June (-15%). As the first half of 2021 saw unusually strong registrations, a decline was perhaps to be expected and the number of agricultural tractors registered in the first half of 2022 was still the second highest in at least eight years.
2022 09 22 Chart 1 EU Ag tractor registrationsChart 1 - Source Systematics International, formatted by CEMA
Concerns remain with continuing production delays; energy reduction plans create additional uncertainty
The number of tractors registered in Europe during the first semester of 2022 would no doubt have been even higher were it not for continuing disruption to global supply chains. These are mainly due to the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic but have been made worse after February 2022 due to the current geopolitical situation. These disruptions have led to both bottlenecks in the supply of raw materials and components to manufacturers and price increases for those same goods.
Additional concerns are reported over the possible impact of measures aimed at preparing Europe for potential future energy supply disruptions and high prices: these could have a very significant impact on our industry and on our supply base.
Surging agricultural commodity prices but uncertainty ahead During the last months demand for tractors and other agricultural machinery in Europe remains robust, helped by strong agricultural prices which according to the global food price index published by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO), reached unprecedented levels earlier in the year. Nevertheless, at the same time, farmers were also challenged with a similar unprecedented rise in prices for some key inputs, such as fuel, fertilizer and animal feed. With prices likely to remain volatile for some time, the future of farm incomes is highly uncertain, despite temporary derogations and support schemes proposed at European and National levels.
Chart 2 - Source UN FAO, formatted by CEMA
Registrations drop not equal across the whole tractor power range
Agricultural tractor registrations in January to June 2022 were on a par with or lower than the same months of 2021 across most of the power range, except for the smallest machines (22kW and under). The biggest falls were for machines between 23kW and 96kW; over half of tractors registered were in this power range but registrations declined by 16% between 2021 and 2022. For tractors with powers of 97kW and above, registrations were only 2% lower than a year ago.
Given the supply chain disruptions, these trends might reflect availability of machines as much as demand for them.
Chart 3 - Source Systematics International, formatted by CEMA
Significant country differences remain across Europe
Agricultural tractor registrations declined in each of the seven largest European markets but they still accounted for over six in every ten tractors registered in Europe. The two biggest agricultural tractor markets in Europe remain France and Germany (Graph 4), with those two countries accounting for almost 30% of all tractors registered in Europe in the opening six months of 2022. Registrations in these two countries fell by 7% and 5%, respectively. Italy, Poland and Spain, all of which saw very high registrations in 2021, have recorded faster declines so far in 2022. Only a few countries, mainly in Eastern Europe, registered more agricultural tractors than a year before.
Chart 4 - Source Systematics International, formatted by CEMA
In reviewing the Registration numbers across Europe, economic experts from CEMA national associations further commented:
In Germany, tractor registrations in the first half of 2022 were down 7% on the same period of 2021. However, that is compared to a high base, as last year was a year of strong growth overall. The lower power classes showed the strongest growth last year and are correspondingly more clearly in the minus this year.
In France, first-time tractor registrations were down -3% in the first half of 2022, compared with the same period last year. However, they are well above the average for the last five years, as 2021 was exceptional in terms of investment in agricultural equipment.
In Italy, in the first half of the year, the agricultural machinery market confirmed high sales volumes, albeit lower than the record levels reached in 2021. The registration figures indicate in fact, in the period from January to June, a 12% decline for tractors, with 11,050 units registered, a number that remains above the average of the last four years.
In the United Kingdom, tractor registrations in the first half of 2022 were down 6% on the same period of 2021. However, strong growth was reported last year and the total for January to June 2022 was still 6% above the average for the time of year over the previous five years.
In Spain, total tractor registrations dropped by 14% in the first half of 2022. The six-month changes by type of tractors are: -14% for standard, -19% for narrow track (NTT) and +15% for ATVs and ATUs (though this figure is even higher when accounting for units not registered as agricultural but used on farms). The price index of tractors increased by four percentage points in the first quarter, according to EUROSTAT, while imports were down 3% (>18 kw) and up 7% (total market).
In Poland, in the first half of this year, 5,598 new agricultural tractors were registered and this is a worse result than in the corresponding period of 2021, with a decrease by 14% compared with last year. The number of registrations is not a big surprise as the previous two years were very good for the industry, especially 2021, when over 14,000 new tractors were registered.
In Belgium, tractor registrations in the first half of 2022 were down 14% on the same period of 2021. The total for tractor registrations for January to June 2021 was the highest in the last five years. Almost two-thirds of the tractor registrations in Belgium are tractors of more than 50 hp.
In the Netherlands, farmers are experiencing serious uncertainties related to perspectives for agriculture due to new sustainability goals and the actual drought. This had an impact on tractor sales, with a drop of 10% in registrations, and the order intake showing a drop of 15%. The mid-term outlook needs a new confidence pillar to restore the mood of Dutch farmers.
Source : https://www.cema-agri.org/