New tractor sales power on, as second-hand imports slump
New tractor sales in November were ahead of those for the same month in the past two years, and overall figures for the year show that tractor sales are up 224 units (13pc), new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.
The figures show that in November 2018, 115 new tractors were licensed, up from 95 in the same month last year.
However, the CSO figures also show that used (imported) tractors licenced between January and November of this year has decreased slightly to 2,042 imported tractors, from 2,307 licensed in the first 10 months of 2017.
This represents a decrease of 265 (11pc) licensed imports from the same period last year, but this year's import figures are up on 2016 figures. This compares to an 8pc increase in imported cars licensed with the CSO this year.
Recent figures from the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association show a recovery in the trade of the tractor market and self propelled machinery registration.
According to FTMTA, the three counties with the highest levels of registrations continue to be Cork, Tipperary and Wexford with 217, 140 and 136 units registered respectively to the end of October.
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, according to FTMTA.
However, some farmers may be holding off making serious machinery investments on their farms at the moment, in light of Brexit uncertainty, according to Gary Ryan.
Ryan, the Chief Executive of the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) said in October that now is the time of the year where farmers look at making investments for the following year.
"However, farmers are postponing big decisions at the moment. A new tractor would cost around €85,000, plus VAT," he said and machinery dealers who would usually see this level of activity in the market have said that farmers are holding off on these decisions.
Farmers, he said, have a lot of fodder for this winter, but many also have big bills that have to be paid.
"And these farmers are thinking 'I have a tractor already...I'll keep it for another year." This, he said, is good news for the machinery parts industry, but reflects the growing uncertainty around Brexit.
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