Huge spike in April tractor registrations

New tractor registrations rose by more than one-third in April, bucking the downward trend seen in the first three months of 2019.

Figures released by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) show sales were up by more than 35% compared with the same month a year ago.

At 1,606 units (larger than 50hp) registered, the total is the highest April figure since 2012.

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The sharp increase brings the total number of machines registered in 2019 to 4,273, almost 4% ahead of the same four-month period a year ago.

Tractor registrations (+50hp units)   

  2018   2019  Change
April   1,189  1,606  +35.1% 
Year to date  4,121 4,273 +3.7%

An AEA spokesman suggested the hike could be due in part to the original 29 March deadline for Britain leaving the EU.

“Manufacturers may have imported machines ahead of the Brexit date to avoid delays at ports or extra costs that might have followed,” the spokesman suggested.

NFU senior economist Rohit Kaushish agreed that the spike in registrations was most likely to have been caused by Brexit uncertainty.

“Farmers in receipt of their BPS payment in December will have ordered tractors around that time and in the following month. The motivation to act quickly would probably have been fear that a ‘no-deal Brexit’ could result in difficulties and delays, as well as higher cost.”