If the West “presses the button”, imported tractors working in Russia will turn into a pile of metal

Photo: Alexey BULATOV

Western manufacturers of agricultural machinery have left Russia and do not even supply spare parts. Because of this, the prices of tractors, combines and components have risen sharply. And the planting season is on the nose, and the farmers had to sweat a lot to prepare the equipment for spring field work. What do we have with the import substitution of equipment? And will the Chinese help in the battle for the harvest? We talked about this with Pavel Repnikov, president of the Association of Dealers of Agricultural Machinery ASHOD.

Pavel Repnikov.


– Pavel Nikolaevich, will the peasants and vendors cope, is there enough in the fields and warehouses?

– I have no doubt that from a technical point of view everyone will cope with this planting season. But it will be more difficult than in the last planting season. And the next planting season will be even more difficult, and so on: in the current state of affairs, our technical capabilities will decrease – machines wear out, and foreign manufacturers have banned the import of new ones.

– What equipment do peasants need most today?

– Tractors, combines, all kinds of seeders, etc. These pieces of equipment constantly work in quite severe conditions, have a lot of wear and tear, and need to be constantly repaired and updated. There are problems with spare parts for all self-propelled machines: engines, hydraulic pumps, hydraulic system elements… Everything that has a dual purpose has problems being imported into the country.

What about our factories? Can you increase production and replace the equipment that is gone?

– Let’s put it this way: they produce a certain range of products. While the nomenclature required in agriculture is much broader. For example, Rostselmash, which we all know, produces grain combines, plus forage harvesters, a certain number of tractors of a certain capacity, they promise that in 2030 they will begin to produce seeders, reapers … But now they are needed!

– Then there were factories that produced absolutely everything…

– Were. But then the moment came when they thought that it was cheaper to bring a ready-made agricultural machine from abroad than to modernize and build their own factories for its production. It was convenient and no one developed these productions, so little by little they were closed. As a result, there were shortages of certain tractors due to the sanctions. The Minsk Tractor Plant makes machines up to 120 horsepower, and St. Petersburg – from 300 to 400. But the niche that exists between, from 120 to 300 “horses”, none of our manufacturers have ever closed, domestic tractors with The indicated power are physically non-existent. And if we do not urgently establish our own production now, then in a few years our farmers will have great difficulties.

– Will there be nothing to plow and harvest?

– No, nothing terrible will happen and agriculture will not disappear. But this can affect technology, people will have to adapt to simpler machines and switch to more primitive technologies. And this, in turn, is a loss of productivity, productivity, with a general increase in the cost of production.


– In the agricultural environment, there is a story that almost all foreign equipment they have can be disabled remotely. Roughly the same conversations about smartphones have been taking place recently…

– It’s not a story. Almost all tractors that have come to us in the last 5 years can be turned off remotely. If such a decision is made there, they will press the conditional button and the machines will turn off. After that, they will turn into a pile of metal. Our specialists are already doing it, we will circumvent this danger.

– Isn’t it possible to take a simpler path – just copy the known technology and reproduce it in Russia? A year ago, a family farmer called through Komsomolskaya Pravda: someone dismantled his German potato harvester, produced the same one, and was ready to buy it. And there are many!

– No, nothing has been copied and assembled yet, there are also difficulties with this. There are companies that have federal funds and are ready to do this. But they say they can’t get clear data from production ministries. It is possible to order the re-engineering of a certain tractor, but at the same time we must clearly indicate what the need for it will be and who will do it. There are developments that are offered, with electromechanical transmissions, we accompanied them to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, but they told us: with these ideas, enthusiastic comrades and inventors, do not go here, go directly to the tractor plant – if you are interested, they will come us.

– … So no one approached that farmer with his proposal to copy a German combine for a year …

And our agricultural machinery is quoted abroad. For example, the Russian cartoon “Blue Tractor” fell in love with foreign YouTube viewers. It is necessary to start the expansion to the world market from somewhere! Photo: Frame of the caricature.


– And the parallel imports?

– Most Western manufacturers do not strongly hinder the import of their products into Russia, they are not interested in the legal, but in the practical aspect of the problem, and therefore turn a blind eye.

In addition, for European cars that can be imported, we face another problem – the issuance of electronic PSM (passport of a self-propelled vehicle, an analogue of a PTS for a car – note ed.). They can be issued by manufacturers or a company representing their interests in Russia must give permission for their issue. But the manufacturers demonstratively left our market and, of course, will not give such permission. The intermediaries, who now import tractors under the “parallel” scheme, do not have contracts with the manufacturers, and when tractors come here, they are not registered electronically, which means they are prohibited from operating. It turns out that you can bring what you want, but it will stay. And there are hundreds of such machines, which are in great demand in the fields, on dealer sites today. It is a paradox: customs duties have been paid on them, merchants are ready to sell them, and peasants are ready to buy them. But they will not go out into the field … On the other hand, if they brought a used car, then you can get such a PSM. This pushes sellers into deceptive schemes…


– There is an opinion that the vacant niche (as well as in other areas) will be very quickly occupied by China.

– We are really trying to replace some of the teams from Asian countries: India, Turkey, China. Although their machines, unfortunately, are not as functional as we are used to.

– Are there service centers? The farmer must know where he will service the tractor.

– They are not created, but by the distributors themselves. If Western companies used to insist on the creation of such centers and had requirements for the volume of spare parts and assemblies, then the Chinese do not have such developed standards, and each dealer acts at his own peril and risk: they figure out how to repair them and where get parts. However, this technique comes to us and comes in a lot. Delivery this year will be measured in thousands, we will adapt to unknown teams.

– Yes, farmers joke that by buying Chinese equipment, this year they will become unwilling test tractor drivers.

– That’s for sure: the technique has not been tested in our conditions, and farmers will have to become its testers.


– What other problems have arisen due to the departure of foreign companies?

– All the time something comes up – with the import of spare parts, their coding, certificates are constantly required. Why were the Chinese able to rapidly expand the production of the same spare parts? In the initial stage they did not have production certification. They made components in their villages and sent them to the factory whether they would fit or not. Something is wrong, they will say to do it again. We have everything regulated in this regard: even if you have your own machine park, it is impossible to make the necessary spare part – you must first certify the site, then the part itself, having received permission for its production. It’s expensive, long, and hemorrhoids, so no one messes with it. Although there are many companies in the country that are capable of producing all this and satisfying the needs of the peasants.

This is all a very difficult conversation. One thing is clear: we urgently need to adopt a strategy for the development of the industry, we can take the concept we have developed as a basis. To begin with, determine: what we ourselves do and where we get what from. If we can take something already made from somewhere, we have to take it; if we can’t, we have to do it ourselves. So you need to understand: how to do it at home, what potential we have. Nothing complicated, you just need to sit down and figure it out, it won’t take you more than a week. And then, to deal with the selection of companies and the level of financing, it will take more time, but in the end it will justify itself by reducing the dependence of our peasants on foreign technology. And this must be done right now – according to our forecasts, Russia has 4-7 years to replace imports of foreign agricultural equipment.


The “Russian John Deere” will be created in a year and a half!”

Konstantin BABKIN, President of the Association “Rosspetsmash” (uniting 220 manufacturers of agricultural equipment, road construction, as well as equipment for the food industry and its components):

– The drama with the state of agricultural machinery due to the sanctions in this case is exaggerated. The equipment is produced in our country, and production is going on quite successfully. Although there were moments of crisis – in 2013, home equipment occupied only 25 percent of the market.

After 2014, the policy began to change, the state began to pay more attention to the development of agricultural machinery, there were support measures, subsidy programs, etc. As a direct result, we raised the participation of our producers to 65%. Russia is now supplied with all kinds of grain harvesters, basic tractors, especially high-performance ones. Belarus provides a wide range of equipment.

As for tractors of the indicated power range – from 120 to 300 horsepower – this is not such a significant niche. They are sold in Russia, but 20 times less than powerful tractors that we produce ourselves.

There is not everything, this is an exaggeration, but in reality everything is not there. Unfortunately, we still have niches that are not filled by domestic manufacturers: equipment for gardening, greenhouses and growing vegetables. Rostselmash and other companies are working on this issue.

– And how soon will we get the Russian John Deere (an American company, a world leader in the production of agricultural machinery – Ed.)?

– Within a year and a half we will create. If the policy of supporting the agricultural machinery industry continues, everything will go well and little by little we will fill all the niches. It is especially important to launch government programs that support the production of components: bearings, motors, hydraulic components. Another point: the production of agricultural machinery in Russia, due to high interest rates on loans, taxes, the cost of metal, electricity, transportation, is more expensive than in other countries. And that is why we are losing the competition, before with Western technology, now with the technology of Eastern countries. Therefore, additional support measures are needed to equalize prices.

Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *