Crop prices may be as close to the floor as a belly dancer’s navel, but UK tractor registrations in the first nine months of the year are looking surprisingly perky.
According to the Agricultural Engineers Association, a total of 10,553 tractors over 50hp were sold in that period, an increase of 3.5% on the preceding year. At the same time, the average power of units sold increased by 2.7% in the period to 157.3hp.
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As ever, some regions did better than others. The eastern and southwestern regions, which traditionally account for some of the biggest tractor sales, saw small rises compared to the same period a year ago.
Tractor sales in the eastern region totalled 1,651 between January and September 2014 compared with 1,625 in the same period last year. Meanwhile the south-west region saw 1,446 sales in the period from January to September 2014, compared to 1,404 sales in the same period last year.
The three areas that saw the biggest drop in sales were the Home Counties/London (down from 469 to 441 sales), Yorkshire and Humberside (down from 751 sales to 717) and Scotland (down from 1,253 to 1,196 sales).
Meanwhile farmers across the land are still buying bigger and bigger tractors. No surprise, then, that the 51-100hp band saw a drop in sales from January to September 2014 of 17%, while the 100-120hp and 120-140hp sectors also saw falls in popularity.
The 140-160hp category, on the other hand, saw a 20% jump in sales, the 160-200hp saw a 7% rise and the 200-240hp and 240+hp sectors each saw a virtual 15% increase.