According to the Association of Agricultural Equipment Producers "Rosagromash," in January 2017 sales of self-propelled combines decreased 15.1% in comparison with January 2016 while sales of tractors increased 53.5%. Both imports of large foreign tractors (above 100hp) and sales of local assembly plants increased. A federal program, adopted in 2013, has stimulated Russian production of agricultural equipment by offering subsidies to local equipment producers.
Prospects for foreign manufacturers in the Russian market are still mixed, but agricultural equipment market development trends appear somewhat promising. The current economic situation presents challenges to developing a strong market for foreign equipment, but there are opportunities available. However, the factors mentioned above have decreased demand for new agricultural equipment and forced agricultural producers to delay capital investments or look for cheaper options and, at least in the short-term, switch to local agricultural equipment producers. Recently reduced subsidies to local equipment producers and increased government support for priority projects are levelling the playing field for some foreign equipment.
The leading subsectors of agricultural equipment are:
• Forage, irrigation and soil preparation equipment including plows, harrows, cultivators, seeders, and fertilizer spreaders.
• Equipment for dairy livestock breeding, swine, and poultry production; milk processing and animal feed preparation equipment.
• Equipment for vegetable production including greenhouse technologies.
In 2016, the sector showed 4.8% growth including 3.4% in livestock, 2.1% in poultry, 52% in vegetable production. Forage production increased 3.7% in 2016. The sector still requires significant investment to ensure that it is equipped to provide food security for the nation.
International firms interested in the Russian agricultural machinery market may wish to consider exhibiting at one of the key Russian agricultural trade shows. These events are powerful marketing tools and serve to reassure Russian buyers that the international supplier is committed to establishing and maintaining a presence in the Russian market, with sales often made at these events. Foreign companies may also find opportunities as financially healthy Russian companies seek to expand in order to satisfy a growing demand for domestically produced food. For example, there may be opportunities to sell meat, fruit, and vegetable processing equipment due to increasing sales in these segments.
Over the long-term, it is important to remain connected with potential customers and use every opportunity to maintain a presence in the market.