2 April 1999

Tractor exports cheer

UK-BASED tractor manufacturing continues to feature as one of the UKs top net exporting industries.

Figures from the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) reveal this sector, together with tractor engine suppliers, with £1,433m, made the largest contribution to a £1bn favourable balance of trade recorded last year by the UK agricultural and outdoor power industries.

As to the overall picture, although the total value of exports fell marginally to £1,629m – down 0.5%, a particularly favourable performance given the strength of sterling during the period – the value of imports dropped by 25.3% to £628m, reflecting the reduction of the domestic market following a significant fall in UK farm income.

While applauding these results, the AEA cautions they are unlikely to be repeated in 1999.

It expects a downturn in many overseas markets for agricultural equipment and a small recovery of imports into a stabilising UK domestic market. &#42