Tractor Market Recovering
The latest tractor and self propelled machinery registration statistics from the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association demonstrate an impressive recovery in the fortunes of the tractor market during the year despite the many challenges faced by Irish agriculture during this time.
October saw 99 new tractors registered which was increase of 10% on 2017 and which brings the total for the first ten months of the year to 1,697 units, down just 1% on the same period last year. Given that registrations in January, which is normally the month with the highest level of activity in terms of tractor registrations, were down 29% on the 2017 figure, the scale of the recovery during the year is perhaps surprising but is definitely welcomed by the machinery trade.
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 89% of all new tractors registered during 2018 having in excess of 100hp, 54% over 120hp and 27% over 150hp.
Telehandler registrations to the end of October indicate that demand for this category of machine is continuing at the strong levels seen in recent years. There were 34 telehandlers registered in October which was a substantial increase on the 20 units in the corresponding month of last year. The October figure brings the overall level of telehandler registrations for the first ten months of 2018 to 358 units which is a year on year increase of 28% and which is also significantly ahead of the full year total for 2017 of 303 units.
Backhoe loaders have witnessed somewhat of a resurgence in the last couple of years; from a low of 40 units in 2015, 52 backhoes were registered in 2017 and 69 have been registered in 2018 to the end of October. Wheeled loaders have also experienced a high level of activity with 106 units registered to the end of October versus 85 during all of 2017.
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