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Farmers are 'holding fire' for 172-reg tractors


Figures show that tractor sales were back on May last year.  Photo: Alf Harvey/HR Photo

Figures show that tractor sales were back on May last year. Photo: Alf Harvey/HR Photo


Tractor sales have proved "challenging" so far this year, with 199 new purchases registered last month.

New figures issued by the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) showed tractor sales were back on May last year which saw 225 machines registered.

The total level of registrations during the first five months stands at 1,102 tractors, a drop of some 13pc year on year.

FTMTA boss Gary Ryan said July has become a very important month for tractor registrations since the introduction of the split year for vehicle registration purposes in 2013, and so close attention will be paid to the performance of tractor registrations in the coming July.

However, Mr Ryan said lead times for most tractor manufacturers have increased and this would mean many tractors being bought now on the back of rising milk prices will be some months out until delivery.

The trend for tractors with more power appears to be continuing. The FTMTA figures show that slightly over 87pc of all new tractor registrations during the first five months of the year have been of machines with greater than 100hp and 53pc were of units with more than 120hp.

Nearly 25pc of all tractors registered during the period were machines with in excess of 150hp.

The five counties with the most registrations for the year to date remained unchanged at the end of May - Cork, Tipperary, Wexford, Galway and Kilkenny have seen 144, 104, 74, 64 and 60 units registered respectively, which between them account for just over 40pc of total registrations.

The telehandler market continues its recent strong performance with 27 units registered in May, which is a strong rise on the 16 units in May of 2016.

The total number of telehandlers registered during the first five months is 166 units which is an 8.5pc increase year on year. Backhoe loaders have also seen a significant improvement with 26 units registered during the period under review as against 20 in the same months of 2016.

May is traditionally a month with higher levels of registrations of wheeled loaders, driven by silage pit activity.

This year is no exception with 28 purchases last month bringing the total for the first five months to 49 units as against 43 machines year on year. Cork and Tipperary have seen levels of 10 and 8 so far this year.

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