Strong tractor sales for first quarter

Tractor sales remain relatively buoyant after another increase during March, figures from industry body the Agricultural Engineers Association show.

Some 2,164 new tractors over 50hp were registered last month, 3.8% more than the same month last year. First quarter numbers were up 10.6% at 3,725 units.

Many regions showed a significant increase in sales, although the biggest were in Wales and Northern Ireland, at +33% and +28% respectively. The only falls in sales were in Scotland (-4.3%) and the eastern region (-3.3%), the AEA said.

The strong sales figures were no doubt supported by the planned cut to the Annual Investment Allowance, which came into effect at the beginning of this month.

The AIA is the amount a business can invest in plant and equipment in an accounting year and set 100% of that investment against income in the same year. For the tax year 2011-12, the AIA was £100,000, but that dropped to £25,000 from 1 April for companies and 6 April for partnerships and sole traders.

The AEA said tractor size continued to increase, with the average size of units over 50hp registered in the first quarter at 145.8hp, 3.2% more than last year. There was a particularly large percentage increase in the 200+ power group, which increased by over 40%.