End-of-year tractor sales drive machinery market recovery
The latest tractor and self-propelled machinery registration statistics from the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) highlight a decent year for sales in general, with a substantial recovery in the Irish tractor market after a sluggish start to 2018.
There were very strong performances for sales of telehandlers, self-propelled foragers, wheeled and backhoe loaders.
The year started on a very downbeat note with 29pc less tractors registered in January than in the same month of 2017. Given the significant share of the annual market normally accounted for by January registrations, this fall caused understandable pessimism in the Irish machinery trade in relation to the outlook for the remainder of the year.
However, according to Gary Ryan of the FTMTA, the performance of the tractor market in the intervening months has rallied significantly and defied expectation.
"Last month saw 43 new tractors registered bringing the total for the first 11 months of the year to 1,738 units, which is a less than 2pc drop on the corresponding period in 2017," Mr Ryan explained.
"A notable feature of the year was a very strong level of registrations in July which has become a key month for registrations of all types since the introduction of the split registration year in 2013. This year's July registrations actually exceeded those of January by 11 units."
Cork leads the way
The three counties with the highest levels of registrations continue to be Cork, Tipperary and Wexford with 224, 143 and 138 units registered respectively to the end of November.
The trend towards higher power tractors in the Irish market is maintained in the most recent registration figures with 89pc of all new tractors registered during 2018 having in excess of 100hp, 54pc over 120hp and 27pc over 150hp.