Over 1,100 new tractors have been licensed in the first five months of the year, according to the latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Its figures show that in May 273 new tractors were licensed, an increase on May 2013 and May 2012. The total number of new tractors licensed for the year to date is 1,154, compared to 937 for May 2013.

The number of used tractors imported in May is also up at 254, while the number for the first five months of the year stands at 1,154 – compared to 614 for the first five months of 2013.

Tractor sales are often used a gauge of the mood of the agricultural industry and have been on the rise this year, month on month, compared to last year.

The CSO figures show the number of vehicles licensed in Ireland. It differs from registration in that a vehicle is licensed when a valid motor tax disc is issued for the first time. Registration occurs when a vehicle gets its licence plate (registration number) for the first time.