Total tractor registrations in 2019 were 2 percent higher than 2018 despite a recent downward trend, new analysis shows.
Figures from the Agricultural Engineers' Association (AEA) show that during the early months of 2019 tractor registrations experienced strong growth.
Because of this early boom, total registrations in 2019 were 2% higher than in 2018, at 12,333 units.
However, the 2018 figure understated the true size of the market due to a large number of pre-registrations in late 2017 ahead of the application of the ‘Mother Regulation’, according to the AEA.
Therefore, the figures indicate that the size of the tractor market for 2019 as a whole will have been significantly down on the previous year.
Registrations were high in the spring, when numbers are thought to have been inflated by machines being brought into the country ahead of the original Brexit date of 29 March 2019.
However, from May to December, registrations were 6% lower than in the same period of 2018 and the annual decline accelerated in the closing months of the year, AEA says.
The monthly total for December 2019 was 22.6 percent lower than in the same month of 2018.
At regional level, the market in 2018 was stronger in the North of England than in the South, although the best performing region was the East Midlands, where nearly 200 extra machines were registered.
There were declines in the southern regions and East Anglia, as well as in Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland saw increased registrations, though, as well as those in the Northern regions of England.
UK tractor registrations are taken as a broad indicator of the strength of the domestic market for agricultural equipment.
In value terms, sales of tractors, plus parts and accessories, account for almost one half of farmers’ total spend on equipment, which again makes this data series a prime indicator.