New tractor sales decline across Europe, but there’s a twist

The first half of 2018 saw tractor registrations in Europe decrease by around 5% compared to the first half of 2017. That’s according to the latest bulletin from CEMA.

A total of (new) 69,260 agricultural tractors were registered between January and June of this year in the 30 countries from which CEMA collates information.

At first sight, this may appear to be depressing news for tractor manufacturers. However, the whole picture is not so clear-cut.

Most of the decline was accounted for in the first quarter of the year, when dealers’ yards were full of tractors that had been pre-registered to avoid being snagged by the EU ‘Mother’ regulations which came into force on January 1.

However, sales in the period from April to June were on a par with those of the same three months in 2017, suggesting that total sales were steady rather than declining.

Stepping back even further, it can be seen that tractor sales for the 12 months from July 2017 to June 2018 (inclusive) actually increased by 10% over the previous 12-month period.

The various countries showed mixed signals during the first half of the year. Tractor registrations in the two biggest markets – France and Germany – actually decreased by around 12%.

The Austrian, Danish, Italian and Spanish markets also shrank by, respectively, 4%, 13%, 5% and 9%. In other CEMA markets, there was growth: 19% in Belgium; 11% in the Netherlands; and 5% in the UK.

In all countries there was growth between July 2017 and June 2018, compared to the previous 12-month period (July 2016 – June 2017).

For the record, CEMA is the European association that represents the agricultural machinery industry. It’s based in Brussels.