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Tractors beat pandemic blues, end 2020 with record numbers

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2021

Total domestic sales crossed 8 lakh units for the first time and stood at 803,670 units for 2020   -  THE HINDU

December exports hit a peak at 10,500 units; domestic sales up 43%

Tractor exports from India touched a record monthly high of about 10,500 units in December 2020.

December 2020 exports were higher by 31 per cent compared with 7,997 units in December 2019.

Tractor sales in the domestic market stood at 61,249 units in December 2020 compared with 42,806 units in December 2019, an increase of 43 per cent, according to data from the Tractor & Mechanization Association (TMA).

Key drivers

While strong rural economy backed by good monsoon, higher agri output, healthy reservoir levels and stronger government support during the pandemic phase, among others aided the spurt in domestic tractor sales, revival of demand in some of the export markets helped Indian tractor makers ramp up exports.

International Tractors, a top exporter of tractors from India, has seen a strong traction and has achieved a double-digit growth in exports during the April-December 2020 period.

“Sonalika has strengthened its dominant position in the exports market with 26.6 per cent market share and registered its highest-ever market share gain of 2.1 per cent in 2020,” said Raman Mittal, Executive Director, Sonalika Group.

Sonalika’s exports to Europe, one of its key markets, grew about 50 per cent during this year.

It has sold about 20,000 Sonalika tractors in Europe alone till date.

“Just like domestic tractor industry, our main markets in the US, Turkey, Brazil, South Asia and Africa have been growing very well.

“It is due to agri growth in these markets. The demand is very strong,” said Hemant Sikka, President - Farm Equipment Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra.

With a huge pipeline of orders from the export market, M&M has begun focussing on demand coming in from these markets, with some amount of priority allocation to exports.

Meanwhile, the Indian tractor industry has ended the Covid-battered 2020 with production and domestic sales numbers touching a historic high.

The industry’s total production zoomed to 846,367 units as against 775,070 units in the previous year.

Domestic sales

Total domestic sales crossed 8 lakh units for the first time and stood at 803,670 units for 2020 compared with 727,938 units, an increase of 10 per cent.

Total exports stood at 77,378 units for the calendar year 2020 as against 80,475 units.

Classified as an essential sector, the tractor industry was among a handful of industries to open up ahead of the rest of the country, post lockdown.

“The tractor industry has been on a very strong growth trajectory since May after briefly facing headwinds in April due to lockdowns, with dealers open for only a few days. It saw an unprecedented growth, having recovered well post-April and has grown by about 17 per cent (April-December 2020) so far,” says Sikka.

Published on January 09, 2021

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