The latest Irish new tractor registration figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) for the period to the end of July and show somewhat of a recovery in the new tractor market following a difficult second quarter impacted by the COVID-19 trading restrictions.
Since the introduction of the split registration year in 2013, July has become a significant month for the registration of new tractors and is regularly the month with the second highest level of registrations after January. That pattern has been repeated in 2020 with the registration of 304 new tractors during July, second only to January when there were 429 registrations. Given new tractor values that July tractor figure represents an investment of close to €30 million in new tractors for the month alone by Irish farmers and contractors.
The July figure is an increase of 8% on the same month last year. This brings the total number of new tractors registered in Ireland for the first seven months of the year to 1,512 units which is a 9% year on year decrease. Given the much reduced levels of registration activity during the second quarter where registrations of new tractors fell by 35% on last year’s numbers, FTMTA believes that the July numbers provide a positive indicator in relation to underlying customer confidence.
Cork, as always, remains the county with the highest level of registrations with 215 units registered to the end of July, followed by Wexford and Tipperary with 103 and 101 units, respectively, with Galway and Limerick taking fourth and fifth place. So far this year all counties have now reached double digit levels of new tractor registrations with Monaghan the lowest on 10 machines.
Registrations of new tractors rated at between 100hp and 120hp continues to be the largest market segment at over 31%, closely followed by the 120hp to 150hp segment at 28.3%. Tractors over 100hp account for just under 90% of all new tractor registrations so far this year. It is interesting that 30% of the market is accounted for by tractors of more than 150hp, which are predominantly in the farm contractor sector.
Following the resumption of registration activity through the NCTS centre network in July there was a substantial increase in the number of used imported tractors registered with 328 such machines registered during July. This is a 46% increase on the 224 units registered in July of 2019, according to the FTMTA figures.
The total number of used imports registered to the end of July is 1,216 units, a considerable reduction on the 1,913 machines registered by the same time in 2019. This was obviously due to the lengthy closure of the NCTS centres.
Registrations of new combine harvesters, as would be expected, ramped up significantly in July with an additional 28 machines registered during the month to bring the total for the year to end of July to 35 new combines as against 45 in the full year of 2019. It is expected that there are still a small number of additional new combine registrations to come through the system in August and September. An additional 4 used imported combines were also registered during July bringing the total number of used combine imports to 14 machines for the 2020 harvest.
Wexford lead the combine harvester market so far in 2020 with 8 new combines registered followed by Kildare with 5, while Cork and Louth tied in third place with four new combines in each county.
There were no additional registrations of self-propelled forage harvesters during July, leaving the total for the year to the end of July at 32 units. One further used imported machine was registered in July bringing that number to three units.
Teleporter registrations, after many months in the doldrums, also saw their second highest level of monthly registrations in 2020 with 59 units registered, as against only 23 such machines registered in all of the second quarter. The July figure is a 9% increase on July of 2019 and brings the total for the first seven months of 2020 to 271 units, a 27% year on year reduction.
Registrations of wheeled loaders enjoyed a good July with 14 machines registered, a substantial increase on the 6 machines in July 2019. A total of 83 wheeled loaders have been registered to the end of July, a 6% year on year increase. After a second quarter that saw no backhoe loaders registered, July saw 4 registrations bringing the seven month total for these machines to 23 units, down from 52 registrations at the same point last year.