John Deere profits slump as UK tractor sales drop 28%

The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) has released the latest tractor sales figures and they reveal a big dip in numbers.

February saw 502 tractors shifted, a 28% fall on the same month last year. It has also dragged the year-to-date total down almost 18% on the 2014 figure to 1,158.

See also: First look at John Deere’s huge 9RX four-track crawler

It comes off the back of John Deere’s announcement of its 2015 first-quarter earnings, which showed a sharp drop in net income from $681.1m (£450m) to $386.8m (£255m).

The Green Giant puts its sluggish early-season sales down to reduced demand across world markets.

Deere’s North American farm machinery sales are expected to be down 30% in 2015, South America by 15%, and Europe by 10%.

The drop is largely blamed on lower commodity prices and falling farm incomes, which have hampered the demand for high-horsepower tractors and combines in particular. Other makers are expected to see falls too.

UK machinery sales have been affected by the strength of the pound, which has seen dealers struggle to shift second-hand kit. It means they’ve been more reluctant than usual to take trade-ins as part of any new tractor sale.

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