Tractor sales boom and demand set to continue

19 April 2002




Tractor sales boom and demand set to continue

By Andy Collings

WITH 2759 tractors registered in the first quarter of this year it has been the best sales performance for the last five years, reports the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA).

The number of tractors registered rose by 31.8% when compared with the first three months of last year. Staggering as this may seem, elation may be tempered some what in the knowledge of how low sales were in the first quarter of last year.

Even so, the AEA reports that companies are reporting that order books are currently strong and, as such, a reasonable level of demand is likely to continue for the next few months.

The AEA has also provided an analysis of the UKs agricultural and outdoor power engineering businesses for 2001. Exports declined by 9.5% to £1139m, imports rose by 2.9% to £754m, and the balance of trade fell by 26.6% to £386m.

AEA economist Chris Evans says British manufacturing and export companies continued to be hampered by the combination of a weakness in many overseas markets and an adverse exchange rate against the weak k. This was offset slightly by a modest recovery of the home market which allowed an increase of imports.

The EU remains the most important trading partner taking over 65% of the UKs exports of farm and outdoor power machinery, and nearly 60% of tractor exports.

Even though, the value of trade declined by 10% for machinery band over 12% for tractors. This reflects the reduction in demand in many European markets, says Mr Evans. &#42


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