The new tractor registration figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) covering the period to the end of April indicate a healthy level of sales activity continuing on from the much recovered market of 2018. While April saw a slight drop in registrations in comparison to the same month last year with a 1% decrease to 207 units, the total level of new tractor registrations for the first four months of 2019 is up 2% on last year at 1,103 units.
The three counties with the highest levels of registrations so far this year continue to be Cork, Tipperary and Wexford with 167, 103 and 81 units registered respectively to the end of April. A healthy spread of new registrations across the country has been seen so far this year with evidence of good activity in what might seen as primarily dairy farming counties such as Limerick and Kerry.
The jump in the share of the market represented by higher horse power tractors during the first three months of the year was maintained in April with the percentage of all new tractors registered during the first quarter having in excess of 100hp holding steady at 94%. The percentages of tractors registered of over 120hp and 150hp have climbed marginally to 59% and 31% respectively – up from 58% and 30% at the end of March. A total of 14 tractors have been registered so far this year with 70hp or less which is just over 1% of the total registrations.
In commenting on the figures, FTMTA Chief Executive, Gary Ryan reiterated previous comments that “FTMTA are confident that our monthly figures are the most accurate and consistent measure of the tractor and self propelled machinery markets available”.
Registrations of telehandlers saw somewhat of a slowdown in April which was not unexpected given the very high level of registrations of such machines seen in the first quarter of the year. While April registrations dropped some 26% in comparison to last year, the total level of registrations for the first four months of the year is up 43% on 2018 at 244 units. Slightly more than 50% of the total registrations thus far have been in three counties with Meath, Cork and Wexford accounting for 50, 41 and 33 units respectively.
Wheeled loader registrations continue to reflect a strong market with the registration of 17 units in April bringing the total for the first four months of the year to 47 units as against the 35 units registered in the corresponding period of last year. May of 2018 saw one third of wheeled loader registrations for last year so it will be interesting to see what the outcome for May 2019 will be. Obviously silage contracting is a significant market for these machines and a robust level of activity around new self propelled foragers this year may be an indicator of a good month to come for loaders also.
After a disappointing March, the backhoe loader category saw considerable improvement during April with 11 units registered, bringing the total for the first four months to 35 units, up some 13% on 2018.
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