20 June 1997

Tractor sales still on downward trend despite fair April

By Andy Collings

DESPITE a slight upturn in the number of tractors registered in April, the downward trend continues with May revealing a 23.5% fall, compared with the same period last year.

To date, figures supplied by the Agricultural Engineers Association also show that with a total of 7099 tractor registrations, the year is 14% down on 1996.

It is, of course, a not entirely unexpected fall. The past few years have seen buoyant sales which have largely exceeded expectations and have, in many respects, bucked the trend.

But while the number of unit sales has fallen, the actual amount of horsepower has remained reasonably constant – fewer but more powerful tractors.

It remains to be seen how 1997 will play itself out. But on current form, it would be an optimistic person who can see the figures coming within a shout of previous years. &#42