2020 tractor sales down 14% compared to previous year

776 new tractors were registered in December 2020 in the UK
776 new tractors were registered in December 2020 in the UK

Total tractor registrations in 2020 were down 14 percent compared to the year before amid severe weather and Covid-19 uncertainty, new figures show.

Figures from the Agricultural Engineers' Association (AEA) show that 776 tractors (>50hp) were registered last month.

This figure is 25.2% higher than December 2019, but this month was down 26.7% compared to December 2018.

Overall, there were 10,380 tractor sales in the UK over the course of 2020, down 13.8% compared to 2019, when 12,040 tractors were sold.

Some agricultural machinery plants closed temporarily in March and April 2020 as a result of the pandemic, the months where most of the decline in sales took place.

Tractor registrations are taken as a broad indicator of the strength of the domestic market for agricultural equipment, AEA explained.

Tractors must be licensed for use on public roads and as such are registered with the Department for Transport which allows an accurate count to be made.

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.