Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 18 February 2018

Resurgent dairy sector sees new tractor sales pick up

Deere's new 230hp-rated 6230R and 250hp 6250R tractors.
Deere's new 230hp-rated 6230R and 250hp 6250R tractors.
Derek Casey

Derek Casey

 THE latest tractor statistics from the FTMTA show a total of 1,535 new tractors were sold during the first eight months of 2017 (up to the end of August), which is around 8pc less than in the corresponding period of 2016. Last month in Ireland, some 129 new tractors were sold, which is up a considerable 46pc from the 88 new units sold in August 2016.

FTMTA Chief Executive Gary Ryan said last month’s strong performance could be an early indication of confidence returning to the market, with the increase in sales being driven mainly by a resurgent dairy sector.

However, Mr Ryan cautioned that difficult times remain for machinery dealers. The introduction of the split year for motor vehicle registration purposes in 2013 meant there was no surprise that July’s tally of 238 units registered was the second highest level of monthly registrations after January.

Cork continues to be the county with the highest level of registrations during 2017 to date with 174 units, followed by Tipperary on 120. Wexford and Galway show nearly identical levels with 88 and 86. Clare has the fifth highest level of registrations with 75. The most popular power bracket continues to be in the 101-120hp segment, with 34pc of all new tractors. Next is the 121-150hp segment, with 30pc of all new tractors within this power range.

Teleporters, backhoe loaders and wheeled loaders all continue to show improvements in registrations when compared to the first seven months of 2016.

Teleporters are up 216 units versus 209 last year. Backhoe loaders are also up at 34 versus 31. Wheeled loaders have performed strongly with 68 units — a significant increase of 16 units on the same period last year.

Peak

At its peak 10 years ago, the Irish tractor market saw over 5,000 new units sold. Those figures were undoubtedly bloated by the construction sector and when the crash took hold in 2009, annual sales fell off by nearly 60pc. At the time, sourcing credit also became a huge issue. Some of the main lenders to the agri market at the time crashed in style.

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Overall there has been marginal recovery and it is now accepted by most industry sources that we will not and should not expect to see figures like 2006 and 2007 again.

The evidence suggests that around 2,000 new tractors per annum, plus or minus 200 units depending on milk and grain prices in a given year, is a realistic market.


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