Highest-horsepower tractor market sees biggest growth

Tractor power has reached a new high on British farms, according to the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA), with the strongest market growth seen in the highest horsepower ranges.

Latest figures show that overall growth in tractor registrations came to just 2% in 2023 compared with the previous year.

See also: UK’s bestselling tractor brands of 2021 revealed

But for machines of 161-200hp, there was 23% growth (with 2,999 machines registered), while tractors in the 241-320hp power range saw 29% growth (with 916 new registrations).

“With growth mainly at the top of the power range, it is little surprise that the average power of agricultural tractors registered during 2023 increased, reaching 174hp – more than 5hp higher than in 2022 and beating the previous record set in 2020,” said AEA economist Stephen Howarth.

“That means the average power has pretty much returned to the historic trend, after dipping below it over the previous couple of years, partly due to supply chain disruptions.”

The greatest decline was in the 141-160hp category, where registrations in 2023 were 20% down.

The AEA figures also reveal a slowing down of registrations in the final three months of 2023 – down 7% compared with the final quarter of 2022 – indicative of the financial squeeze affecting the farming industry since harvest.

At regional level, there was growth in most parts of the UK in 2023, but significantly fewer machines were registered in Northern Ireland and the north-east of England than in 2022.

Top five makes of tractors

John Deere has remained the UK’s tractor brand of choice in 2022, accounting for 30% of all registrations, followed by CNH on 26%, Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) figures reveal.

While these figures cover all power bands, including machines under 50hp, competition law prevents the AEA from publishing market share figures until 12 months have elapsed.

“It is worth remembering that the market in 2021 and 2022 was affected by widespread disruption to global supply chains and transportation after the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” said AEA economist Stephen Howarth. “These may have had an impact on market shares.”

Top five tractor brands by market share

  2020  2021 2022
John Deere 26% 25% 30% (3,960 machines)
CNH   27% 29% 26% (3,390)
Agco (MF, Fendt and Valtra) 26% 22% 22%  (2,895)  
Kubota 7% 7% 7% (976)
Claas 4% 4% 4% (470)
Others 10% 13% 11%

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