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Editor in chief:
CLARA MOSCHINI

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Agriculture is the protagonist of Italian leasing

In 2020, 3,873 agricultural and primary processing companies were financed with over 491 million euros

Agriculture proves to be one of the leading sectors of Italian leasing. This is stated in the statistical report To Lease 2021 edited by Assilea, the Italian association of leasing and long-term rental. On a general level, Assilea argues, the economic shock of 2020 also had significant consequences on leasing, which however was able to confirm its role as primary support for the economy, with the penetration of leasing compared to medium-long term loans for productive investments which has approached 30%, since it rises to 35% in the securities sector. The amount stipulated in 2020, equal to € 22.8 billion, marked a variation of -18% compared to 2019, resulting in a decline of -4.6% on the total of contracts in place at 31 December last, whose value is approximately € 76.5 billion. The progressive improvement in dynamics in the last months of last year is consolidated in + 25% in the first quarter of 2021, with volumes that are close to those of the first quarter of 2019 in the auto sector and exceed them in the instrumental sector. The Center for Studies and Statistics of Assilea estimates an increase in stipulated contracts of 7.4% compared to 2020 for 2021. Among the most promising sectors we find above all those of energy efficiency and agri-food, especially agriculture, followed by transport and warehousing and leasing of electro-medical goods.

TOOLS FOR AGRICULTURE

The instrumental sector is one of the most active. In 2020, it is true, it recorded a decline of -17.6%, but from September 2020 volumes started to rise again, reaching 1.3 billion euros in December, almost double compared to the previous month: an increase of + 18.2%, on the other hand, in the first quarter of 2021. The ranking of investments is led by agricultural machinery, non-registered machinery and machinery for processing and data transmission. From the analysis of the main capital goods financed under leasing, in 2020 the category of machinery for agriculture, forestry and fishing rises to first place in terms of value, whose sector recorded a growth of 7.7% compared to last year for a volume total of over 917 million euros. The shares by number of contracts of the main types of leased capital goods confirm that in 2019, in second place (after data processing machinery) machinery for agriculture, forest and fishing, which records a significant increase of its own going from 13.3% in 2019 to 18.9% in 2020.

LEASING TO AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES

A leap forward also in leasing to agricultural companies: the extensive use of 4.0 investments led to increases in values close to 40% in 2020, both in terms of agreements with companies operating in the sector, and in leasing of agricultural machinery, with a substantial increase of the average amount per transaction. Overall, during the year, the leasing financed 3,873 agricultural and first processing companies, for a total amount exceeding 491 million euros. The number of client companies financed grew by 14.6% and the amount by 36.7% compared to the previous year. The part of the oenje was made by the agriculture, livestock and primary processing sector, in which about half of the leasing loans were concentrated: 1,396 companies were financed with an amount that exceeded 206.3 million euros : in second position the production of cereals (701 companies financed with 83.7 million euro), third the production of fruit and vegetables (762 companies, 79.6 million).

AGRICULTURE, FIVE YEARS POSITIVE LEASING

On the other hand, agricultural leasing has been reflecting a positive trend for years, both in terms of financing for the agricultural sector and in terms of financing for agricultural, forestry and fishing machinery. A positive trend in the component relating to investments can already be seen starting from 2015, testifying to a growing climate of business confidence, but the increases in 2017 were particularly significant (+ 16% in value and + 14.2% in terms of in quantity) and 2018 (+ 12.6% in value and + 10.5% in quantity). It is estimated that leasing has seen its weight in the sector grow by three percentage points in the five-year period 2015-2019, from 7.7% to 10.7%: leasing stipulated in the last five years has seen an ever-increasing dynamic in agriculture, with a number of contracts with companies operating in the sector which increased from 2,400 units in 2016 to 4,300 units in 2020 and a number of leasing loans for agricultural, forestry and fishing machinery more than doubled, reaching 14,580 units in 2020. The increase compared to 2019 data in both cases was more than 24%. Looking at the 4.0 investments financed in leasing to companies that in 2020 made use of the Tecno Sabatini law, the incentive dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises that have to renew machinery and equipment, machinery for agriculture, forestry and fishing rank first. place, representing a share of 31.6% of the total. This highlights the strong contribution that leasing is making to the digitalization of the agri-food sector.

"From the point of view of the activity, it will be essential that measures are put in place to prevent a cliff effect at the end of the moratorium and to manage the risks associated with the additional depreciation of leasing assets in the period of suspension of rentals - comments the president of Assilea. Carlo Mescieri - so that the lease system can continue to be the fuel for technological investments, in innovation and green. From an associative point of view, Mescieri adds, Assilea will have to fight, without hesitation, in defense of leasing which, unique of its kind, it is a financing instrument in favor of the Italian economic system with implicit services deriving from its nature".

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