How many new tractors have been sold in Ireland so far in 2019?

A total of 656 new tractors were registered to the end of February (during January and February of this year), according to data compiled by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA).

Gary Ryan, chief executive of the FTMTA, explained: “That’s a drop of only five units or less than 1% on the 661 units registered during the same period of 2018.

“As would be expected, the lion’s share of these tractors were registered during January (443 units) rather than February (213 units). While the February level was much lower than that of January, it did represent an 8% increase on February 2018.”

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations so far this year are Cork (82), Tipperary (72) and Wexford (54).

Gary added: “Beyond the high levels of units registered in the top three counties, there’s a healthy spread of new registrations across the country. Leitrim saw the lowest level, with just three new tractors registered in that county so far.”

Previous data shows that 1,984 new tractors were registered in the Republic of Ireland last year (2018). That figure was actually a revision of an earlier (lower) estimate, which had originally suggested that the number was just 1,762.

This table (below) shows how new tractor registrations were spread throughout 2018 – on a month-by-month basis.

Source: FTMTA

Gary commented: “The revised new tractor registration figures for 2018 highlighted a market that had enjoyed its best year since the onset of the global financial crisis and recession in 2008. It represented a 10% increase on the previous year.”

For the record, the total number of new tractor registrations in 2017 was 1,796.

UK tractor market

Meanwhile, the new tractor market is not faring so well in the UK.

Data from the UK-based AEA (Agricultural Engineers Association) shows that registrations of new agricultural tractors (over 50hp) there were down sharply (on a year earlier) in February.

Only 480 new machines were registered last month (February 2019) – the lowest figure for any month since December 2010. The figure was down 18% on the same month of last year.

Because February is usually the quietest month for registrations, the organisation says that it “remains to be seen whether this downturn will be sustained”.

A spokesperson said: “One possibility is that farmers are cautious about making investments until the Brexit uncertainty is resolved, but the situation will be clearer once figures for March are released.”