Latest estimates from the German VDMA Agricultural Machinery Association point to global farm machinery sales of around €91 billion this year – a drop of nearly 10% on 2014 levels, and well below the peak of the past decade of €104 billion in 2013. The association reckons sales of farm machines will fall across the board this year and in particular in North America which has a high stock of second-hand machines. VDMA managing director Bernard Scherer says there are several other reasons for the drop in spend on new farm machinery. “Some of the major markets are saturated and in others, such as Brazil and Russia, there are less advantageous conditions or lack of financing possibilities,” he says. “Trade barriers are not helping in some regions of the world and lower agricultural commodity prices are leading to lower farm incomes.” The South American market is forecast to plummet by around 15% to €6 billion this year, but the largest drop is expected in North America where sales of new farm machinery is forecast to be around €18.5 billion (€22.6 billion in 2013 and €21.8 billion in 2014). The VDMA figures suggest that China, the world’s third most important farm machinery market, remains fairly stable and is expected to account for around €18 billion during 2015 (€18.5 billion in 2013 and €18.3 billion in 2014). The EU market for new farm machinery has declined from a peak of €26.6 billion in 2013 and €26 billion in 2014, and is expected to further fall by another 8% this year to around €23.8 billion. Good for over a quarter of the total global spend on new farm machinery this year, the EU remains the world’s largest farm machinery market.