The latest figures from the FTMTA point to a buoyant tractor market in Ireland with new registrations for this July being 21% up on sales in July 2020.
These figures continue the strong recovery seen throughout the year, although 2020 itself was not as depressed as may have been expected, except for the spring when the numbers fell by as much as 43% from 2019 levels.
The total number of tractors sold in July 2021 was 368 as opposed to 304 in July 2020. This brings the cumulative total for the year to 1,907, just three short of the total for the whole of last year.
Tractor sales as a barometer of industry health
Improved registration figures reflect the growth in sales revenue reported by manufacturers over the year, with all machinery sectors boasting of increased turnover.
Of the big three tractor manufacturers AGCO appear to have grown the most on a global basis. Sales are up 33.6% for the first half of this year. In the second quarter alone they recorded a satisfying increase in revenue of 43.5%.
The financial results for John Deere and CNH were a little more modest although similar in size to each other. The jolly green giant was jollier still with a 25% increase in sales while CNH are cheerfully forecasting a 24 – 28% rise in income for the whole of 2021.
It should be pointed out, however, that both these corporations are involved in the construction industry as well as agriculture and the figures are a combination of both these sectors.
Kubota, another giant with its feet in both camps, also reported a 24.6%boost in sales for the first half of the year while Deutz Fahr, who mainly serve the agricultural industry, noted an almost identical 24.2% rise up to the end of June.
Although it might appear a little disappointing for a business mainly devoted to agriculture, when compared with AGCO’s success, Deutz Fahr does report a 65% increase in order intake.
FTMTA also record increase in Combine sales
Combine harvesters also saw a healthy increase in sales with 54 units being registered up until July as against 35 in 2020 and 45 in 2019.
Tractor registrations are a very basic indicator of the health of the machinery market, and it does appear to be in robust form despite the component shortages and increased cost of raw materials.
The main sales season is now drawing to a close and the word in the trade is that manufacturers have absorbed many of the price increases rather than pass them on, although discounts and deals were, understandably, hard to come by.
It is unlikely that the pressure on costs will be relieved any time soon and prices for new tractors in 2021 may well come with a hefty premium over what was being quoted this year.