19 April 1996

Tractor exports add £915m to British balance

By Andy Collings

EXPORTS of UK-built tractors and engines earned £915m last year, reports the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA). This contributed £582m to the countrys balance of trade.

And there was further good news for the machinery trade as a whole as total exports rose by 20.4% to £1354m. Imports increased by 15.9% to £844m to leave a surplus of £470m – 30% up on 1994.

Principal importers of UK produced agricultural machinery are other EU member states which take about 63%, but the USA and Australia continue to figure highly. The tractor market though, is world-wide with exports going to 146 countries – the US being the largest single market.

Meanwhile, the British Agricultural Machinery Association (BAGMA) currently weathering uncertain times with the BSE crisis, reports machinery cancellations have been low.

The results of a recent BAGMA/farmers weekly survey would confirm this.

Dealers, it says, have been surprised by the small number of cancelled orders but are keen to see the situation sorted out as soon as possible.

Overall, machinery sales are expected to remain at a similar level as last year with some dealers predicting higher sales. New tractors above 60hp appear to be in demand but the dealer-predicted trend for tractors of lower horsepower is down – the current BSE situation creating a degree of caution for the livestock sector which is the principal market for these tractors.


UK machinery exports – main destinations

1995% of% change

total tradetotal trade1995/94

£000

1 Irish Republic39,77216.140.7

2 France37,66115.236.4

3 USA22,1638.9-0.4

4 Germany20,1978.215.3

5 Netherlands17,2937.073.3

6 Belgium-Lux12,8475.260.5

7 Denmark76253.16.5

8 Sweden76033.1-26.4

9 Australia61792.516.0

10 Norway49732.019.2

Tractor and engine exports earned the UK£915m last year, says the AEA.