Almost 1,000 more used imported tractors have been licenced for the first time in Ireland in the year to the end of September, compared to the same period in 2020.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 2,723 used imported tractors were licensed for the first time in Ireland so far this year, compared to 1,766 in the period January to September 2020.

The figure for this year is also a large increase on the figure for January to September 2019 (before the Covid-19 pandemic), which was 2,025.

Taking the month of September on its own, the number of used imported tractors licenced here for the first time that month was 222, which is actually a decrease on the same month last year, when the figure was 282. The figure for September 2019 was 177.

In terms of new tractors, the figure for this year up to the end of September is 2,111, an increase of about 250 on the same period in 2020, when the figure was 1,863.

This year’s figure is also higher than the same period in 2019, in which 1,902 new tractors were licenced here.

In the month of September alone, 193 new tractors were licenced for the first time last month, an increase of 16 on the 177 figure from September 2020.

It is a fairly significant increase on the figure for September 2019, which was 118.

The general upwards trend in tractor licencing here and elsewhere is tinged with concern over shortages in component supply.

CNH (Case-New Holland) recently suggested that restricted availability of components is starting to become an issue.

Although the company did not give specific numbers, there was a reference to several thousand units being partially completed and awaiting parts to be finished.

Increases in costs are also expected, generating concerns that these will be passed on to the end-user, particularly with the high demand for machinery at present.