The sale of agricultural machines during the first quarter fell sharply due to the drought and they fear that there will be layoffs in the industry.
According to the latest report of the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec). All types of machinery marked setbacks compared to the same period in 2022.
The seeders exhibited the largest decrease compared to the same quarter of the previous year, with 225 units, which marked a drop of 49%. In the case of implements, 1466 units were sold, a decrease of 23.4%. Meanwhile, harvester sales decreased by 18.4% (199 units); And finally, the tractor market showed the same symptoms: sales reached 1660 units, a drop of 4.4%.
With respect to the share of units of national origin in total unit sales, in the first quarter of 2023, harvesters of national production presented a share of 97% and implements, of 92.8% in the total units sold of their respective segments.
In the case of seeders and tractors, sales are not discriminated according to their origin by application of the rules of statistical confidentiality.
Continuing with the data of the Indec, the turnover in January, February and March, was $ 78,542 million, which represented an increase of 77.8% in relation to the same quarter of 2022.
In terms of turnover, tractors presented the highest level of the quarter, with $ 33,623.1 million, with an increase of 106.1% compared to January-March of the previous year.
The turnover for sales of harvesters and agricultural implements increased 90.2% and 83.8%, respectively, while seeders recorded a year-on-year fall of 7.1%.
Fear of layoffs
The manufacturing sector of national agricultural machinery comes from a historic campaign in terms of sales, which generated significant investments from various companies to expand their productive capacity, but given the meager outlook that the 2022/23 thick harvest has been offering, they fear that this expansion will be transformed into retraction and loss of employment in the towns of the interior of the country, Therefore, they ask the national authorities to implement measures such as facilitating credit to agricultural producers and promoting the national industry.
According to Eduardo Borri, president of the Argentine Chamber of Manufacturers of Agricultural Machinery (CAFMA), in the last 3-4 years the national manufacturers of agricultural machinery haveincreased their staff by around 40%. "We started from about 26,000 positions in 2019 and today we have around 40,000 employees in the value chain. If this lasts for a long time, what is at risk is that, everything we generated in recent years, "he warned before the official data of the Indec are known.
In the last ExpoAgro, according to Borri, an important level of sales realization was achieved because "there was credit at very reasonable rates."
Therefore, according to the representative of Cafma, financing must be a priority.
"Among the fundamental measures that should be taken in relation to financing, and which is a claim that has been coming from the agricultural sector for some time, is the elimination of the Central Bank's communication that prevents the soybean or wheat producer from having more than 5% of his last harvest in stock. Here it is about accessing financing at affordable rates, in order to access the market competitively. For us this is key, that type of regulation must be repealed, it is what the sector is waiting for," he said.