UK tractor registrations have continued to recover after a year of depressed sales due to poor weather and Covid-19.
Figures published by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) show a total of 586 tractors were sold in January 2021, up 17% on the same month a year ago.
The latest data means the number of machines registered was close to the average of recent years for the third month in a row.
AEA economist Stephen Howarth said the tractor market was close to being back to normal after the challenges of the last year and the backend of 2019.
“The market was at a low ebb from autumn 2019, when bad weather at drilling time hit farm finances and registrations fell,” Mr Howarth said.
“We then moved into 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, disrupting supply chains of new machines and, again, depressing sales,” he said.
During 2020, there were just 10,380 new tractor registrations compared with 12,040 in 2019 – a drop of 14%.
Much of the decline took place between April and July, when 3,520 new tractors sold, compared with 5,400 during the same period in 2019.
The recovery began in the second half of the year with registrations up 11% and, from September onwards, volumes were slightly above the average of recent years.
From September onwards, volumes were slightly above the average of recent years.
“The market now appears to be back on a more normal footing, but challenges relating to Covid-19 and the UK’s departure from the EU could continue to have an effect,” Mr Howarth suggested.