Tractor sales under pressure from sterling slide
It's been a testing few years for the machinery trade and in particular tractor sales. As the British pound continues its post-Brexit slide, increasing numbers of Irish buyers are travelling north in search of tractor deals.
It all puts pressure on Irish machinery dealerships who look to make a living from the trade, but what have tractor sales actually been like so far this year and what can dealers likely expect in 2017?
Someone with 40 odd years of experience in the trade is always worth listening to, and that is exactly what Cathal Sweetman of D & S Machinery Ltd brings to the table. Established in 1985, D & S Machinery originally started importing the Ursus range of tractors into Ireland from Poland.
Thirty years on and they have a country wide network of tractor dealers distributing the McCormick and Landini brands.
"Over the last three years the new Irish tractor market has ranged from 1,900-1,950 units, and I think this year will be the same," said Mr Sweetman.
"I have found it very difficult going for a few years now as prices to farmers have been forced downwards.
"What has really made it difficult is that the pressure has hit every sector of farming - milk, cattle, grain, potatoes and vegetables.
"It feels like there are too many people competing for too few sales, which results in overpriced trade ins and new tractors being sold with little or no margin.