High-powered tractor sector buoyant as overall sales dip

With 10,842 tractors above 50hp sold in 2015, last year’s UK sales were nothing to write about. So how are things so far this year? The answer, according to the latest figures from the Agricultural Engineers Association, is that they are still in the doldrums.

In the first three months of this year 2,382 agricultural tractors were registered for road use. That was a decline of 9.5% compared with the equivalent period in 2015.

Meanwhile, the average size of tractor sold in the first three months of 2016 had 158.3hp under its bonnet, a small 1.1% increase on the same period a year earlier.

See also: Combines up and mowers down, says AEA

Unusually, it was sales of tractors in the 100-160hp band that suffered the most in 2015. In fact sales in the 140-160hp sector fared the worst, while small tractors in the 50-100hp band were relatively buoyant.

At the top end of the horsepower band, from 160hp-240hp, sales were still buoyant. In fact the market for tractors over 240hp was the most healthy-looking of all the sectors.

Which geographical areas of the UK are buying the least and most tractors? This is an odd one. Pretty much all areas, including the South West, South East, East, North East, North West and Northern Ireland, saw falls in tractor sales. By contrast, the East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire/Humberside bought more tractors than this time last year.    

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