Registration figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) covering the period to the end of May indicate that “the recovering new tractor volumes seen in 2018 are continuing well into 2019”.

Gary Ryan – the FTMTA’s chief executive – said: “While April saw a slight drop in registrations in comparison to the same month of last year [with a 1% decrease to 207 units], May surged ahead with a 19% increase on 2018.

“A total of 210 new tractors were registered in May. That brings the figure for the first five months of 2019 to 1,313 units. That’s up 5% on the same period of last year.

“It must also be remembered that last year was the best year [for new tractor registrations] since 2008.”

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations so far this year continue to be Cork, Tipperary and Wexford.

The trend toward higher-horsepower tractors, evident in recent years, has continued.

Gary explained: “While the percentage of all new tractors registered during the first five months having in excess of 100hp fell slightly to 93%, the percentages of tractors registered of over 120hp and 150hp have climbed marginally to 60% and 32% respectively – up from 59% and 31% at the end of April.

“Only 19 tractors have been registered so far this year with 70hp or less, which is just over 1% of the total registrations.”

Tractor market

Commenting on the broader state of the market, Gary welcomed the figures, saying: “This is strong evidence of the continuing confidence of Irish agricultural professionals in their sector and their preparedness to invest in the mechanisation of their businesses.”