The ongoing economic weakness is blamed for the 4% reduction in total turnover of German tractor and agricultural machinery manufacturers to €7.38 billion last year. According to the country’s VDMA Agricultural Machinery Association, low producer prices, especially for milk and rearing pigs, have subdued investment in new tractors and equipment. “Unfortunately, there are still no signs of any sound growth on the horizon,” says VDMA managing director Bernd Scherer. “However, last year’s decrease was less than originally expected and gives us reason to be cautiously optimistic.”  The home market continues to play a vital role for German agricultural tractor and machinery manufacturers. It still accounts for 28% of total output but 2015 sales fell by almost 6%. This weak domestic demand was partially offset by a revival of exports, which ended the year down by just 3%. France remains the number one export destination for German-made tractors and farm machines, and the good news is that the French market not only recovered slightly last autumn, but is forecast to continue this positive trend this year. The VDMA md is cautiously optimistic for increased sales in Eastern Europe, but the decline of the Rouble and difficult financing conditions are not doing much to improve the perspectives to sell more German-made tractors and machines in Russia. For 2016, the VDMA expects a further 5% decrease in the total turnover of German agricultural machinery manufacturers to around €7 billion.