04 August 1999
Tractor sales soar for fifth month
By Stephen Howe
TRACTOR registrations rose again in July for the fifth successive month.
Sales of tractors above 40hp increased by more than 56%, compared with the same month last year. After seven months, 6576 units have been sold; 19.7% up on 1998, according to AEA economist Chris Evans.
“Its good news, but we should not get too excited. Remember, last year was the worst year ever for UK tractor sales.
“By the end of December I expect the market to finish up nearer to 10% higher than last year, rather than the 20% were seeing at present,” he said.
The final figure will depend how much of the tractor business has been brought forward.
“Its all to do with the re-adjustment of the farming process as producers look to sharing and syndication to reduce the unit costs of production,” said Mr Evans.
Some people in the industry think the gains made in the first half of the year will be lost in the second half. Much will depend on the how the harvest goes.
If the wheats go well, who knows, the tractor market may well strengthen, said Mr Evans.
Meanwhile, AEA figures suggest combine sales for this year are unlikely to reach 700. That compares with 1133 in 1998; a 40% fall. Other machinery sales are running at similar levels to last year, said Mr Evans.