UK tractor sales see recovery but still down year-on-year

A total of 932 tractors were registered in June 2020 compared with 1,100 last June
A total of 932 tractors were registered in June 2020 compared with 1,100 last June

Total UK tractor registrations in June 2020 declined by 15 percent compared to the same time last year, new analysis shows.

Figures from the Agricultural Engineers' Association (AEA) show that 932 tractors (>50hp) were registered last month.

This figure is 15.3 percent lower compared to June 2019, and comes amid Brexit and ongoing Covid-19 related uncertainty.

However, it is a marked improved on May 2020 figures, in which only 586 tractors were registered, down 41.9 percent year-on-year.

It comes as some machinery plants had to close temporarily as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, some production sites across Europe have started to resume at a reduced capacity.

Figures also show that overall tractor sales over the first half of 2020 is 25 percent lower that the same period last year.

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.

It comes as the AEA elected its new president, Les Malin, earlier this week. He said the crisis had shown 'more than ever' that technology was the 'key forward' for the industry.

"We have to embrace the future and show our customers that we can offer expertise, money saving machinery, environmentally efficient solutions such as robotics.

"We as an industry must embrace these modern methods to safeguard our futures and entice the younger generation,” Mr Malin added.