FTMTA farm safety poster from 1990 – it might be 25 years later but the message is the same.
At the recent FTMTA AGM, the FTMTA President of the Association, Mr. Donal Fitzpatrick of Monasterevin based dealer J.H. Fitzpatrick Ltd., highlighted that 2014 was the best year that the farm machinery sector has seen since the onset of the global recession in 2008. The President stated however that 2014 was “very much a year of two halves with a decidedly more challenging environment in the later part. The market softened considerably from about August onwards in response to concerns on commodity prices.” In reviewing last year, Mr. Fitzpatrick pointed out that with “nearly 1,940 units registered, 2014 was the best year for new tractor sales since 2008 but when you consider that there were over 4,500 new tractors registered in 2008 it puts the 2014 level into context”.
In 2015 to date, the FTMTA President felt that “activity seems to be reasonable while the trend of recent years of ever increasing pressure on margin in sales and across the business is certainly continuing”. Mr. Fitzpatrick highlighted a drop in new tractor registrations for the year to the end of May of about 5% and forecast that if this trend continues the 2015 market will be some 1,880 units.
To an extent the reduction in the market in unit terms is explained by an accelerating shift towards higher horse power units with over 85% of all new tractors registered in the first five months of this year having greater than 100hp and 50% having greater than 120hp. The percentage of units in the greater than 120hp category is up substantially from about 40% last year. The move to higher power units will result in a smaller market in terms of units. In the second half of the seventies there were some 4,500 to 7,000 new tractors registered every year – it is interesting to consider what the average horse power of these units might have been.
Be a part of a stronger farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.