Tractor sector remains positive despite slight November drop

The latest new tractor registration figures issued by the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) for the period to the end of November, show little change in the year on year in relation to new tractor registrations.

Compared with last year, the registration of new tractors during November fell by 5 units to 38 tractors. That brings the total of new tractor registrations for the first eleven months of 2020 to 1,884 units, a drop of less than 4% on the figure of 1,956 units at the same point a year ago, according to the FTMTA figures.

Given that December is generally a month of quite low levels of new tractor registrations, with only 12 units registered in December 2019, the final outcome for the year is unlikely to differ significantly from the current position. A drop of approximately 4% on the 2019 number seems a good performance in light of the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic this year and FTMTA believes that this is indicative of a welcome level of customer confidence.

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations thus far in 2020 remain Cork, Tipperary and Wexford with Cork on 257 units while Tipperary and Wexford are tied on 129 units each.  Meath is the only other county with a three digit number of tractor registrations at this time with 107 units and Galway has registered the fifth highest number of tractors at 98 units.

The 101 to 120hp range remains the horse power band with the highest level of registrations to the end of November with 592 units or over 31% of all registrations. The situation in the higher power categories remains unchanged on October with 88% of all tractors registered during the year so far having over 100hp, 56% over 120hp and 29% over 150hp.

Registrations of used imported tractors have continued their recovery from the record low levels of the second quarter when less than 100 used imports were registered across three months due to the closure of the NCTS centre under the public health restrictions. November saw 401 used imports registered, up from 234 units in the same month last year. A total of 2,623 used imports have been registered during the first eleven months of this year, a drop of 9% on the same point in 2019, which saw the highest level of imports in over five years.

Telescopic loader registrations were down 1 unit in November on the same month last year, for the second consecutive month, with 14 new units registered last month. The total number of new teleporter registrations for the year to the end of November is 384 units a drop of 19% on the figure of 474 units at the end of November 2019.

Registrations of wheeled loaders fell by 1 unit in November in comparison to a year earlier with 11 units registered last month which was the fourth consecutive month that eleven such machines were registered, with the bulk of these being new generation Chinese manufactured machines. The total for the year to the end of November is 127 units, up 15% year on year and well ahead of the 115 units registered in the full year of 2019.

Registrations of backhoe loaders for 2020 remain unchanged at 31 units with no such machine registered in November. This is in contrast to the 66 such machines registered at the same point in 2019.

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