This report is based on information provided by industry experts and importers. No exact figures are available on the size of the Uruguayan market for lawn & garden equipment. However, all numbers listed in tables have been extracted from local databases used by the U.S. Commercial Service in Montevideo.
Uruguay has practically no local production of lawn & garden equipment with the exception of garden furniture and accessories such as pots and decorations. China is the main supplier of overall lawn & garden equipment, followed by Brazil and the United States, especially for power tools and lawn mowers. In the hand tools subsector, imports from Brazil and China are expected to continue predominating, as the segment shows a trend toward inexpensive or low quality imports. Major market opportunities for U.S. firms are for new and refurbished gasoline-powered equipment, such as lawn mowers, brush cutters and weed trimmers.
The Uruguayan market for lawn & garden equipment includes power tools, hand tools, water management equipment, garden furniture and outdoor accessories such as pots and other decoration items.
• Lawn mowers are the largest market segment. It includes: hand-pushed and powered (gasoline, electric and battery operated).
• Power tools and equipment include: lawn trimmers, brush cutters, weeders, hedge cutters, power saws and blowers for leaves.
• Hand tools include tools used on the soil such as shovels, spades, rakes, hoes, forks, picks, and cutting tools (manual hedge shears/trimmers).
China is the main supplier of lawn & garden equipment to Uruguay, with a 49% market share, followed by Brazil (13%) and the United States (10%). Other countries include: Germany (9%), Sweden (3%), Argentina (2%) and Japan (1.3%). Brazil and the China dominate the hand tools and garden accessories segments, while the United States is strong on power tools such as powered lawn mowers, chain saws and trimmers.
Lawn & garden equipment that can be used in the agricultural/forestry sectors enjoys tax incentives. Equipment used in agricultural and forestry activities is exempt from import duties because it falls under capital goods. It is also exempt from VAT (23%) because it is considered “goods for agricultural use.” This applies to some lawn & garden equipment, such as gasoline-powered grass and weed trimmers and brush cutters.
The forestry sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Uruguayan economy. Sources consulted for this report believe there is good potential for the sale of lawn & garden equipment which could be also used in the forestry sector, such as gas-powered saws.
Growth potential is not expected in the hand tools market since this segment shows a trend toward inexpensive or low quality imports.
There is no local production of lawn & garden equipment except for garden furniture (plastic and wood), hoses and some accessories, such as pots, bird houses and other decorations.
The market’s growth is being driven mainly by consumer behavior which has changed over the last years. Gardening is increasingly popular among homeowners who more and more see it as a leisure activity. Specialized books and magazines have boosted sales of garden products and equipment. Besides the specific purpose of enhancing the appearance of their gardens, many people find taking care of their gardens enjoyable. Consumers increasingly think of their gardens as extra rooms in their homes, purchasing furniture, plants and decorations. Although the concept of the garden as an “outdoor room” is not new, the idea of using plants as decorative accents that can be changed throughout different seasons is a new trend.
The modern consumer wants ease of use and instant results, preferring power tools such as lawn mowers, lawn trimmers, hedge cutters and blowers for leaves. Durability, comfort, overall quality and price are key factors in the sale of garden improvement-related products.
The residential market dominates sales of power lawn and garden equipment. However, the increasing importance of golf courses will help sustain demand for power equipment. In addition, the rising number of professional landscapers will boost demand for commercial equipment.
Sales of lawn & garden equipment are clearly divided into shopping seasons. The spring/summer season is the most popular shopping time for homeowners who will demand more lawn mowers, trimmers and garden furniture, while the winter season will increase sales of power saws used for chopping wood.
Lawn & Garden Equipment Sub-Sectors
The lawn & garden equipment sector can be divided in four main sub-sectors:
• Lawn Mowers: Powered (gasoline, electric and battery operated) and hand pushed. For larger lawns, gasoline powered lawn mowers have a clear advantage. Battery/cordless mowers are especially useful for areas difficult to access.
• Power tools: chain saws, lawn trimmers, edgers, weeders.
• Hand tools: Basically all tools used in gardens, agriculture, horticulture and forestry such as shovels, picks, forks, rakes, etc.
• Garden accessories: Furniture (wood and plastic), decorations such as pots also used in balconies and terraces, bird houses, etc.