Despite new tractor registrations for the Republic of Ireland (ROI) in January 2024 recording a 14% decline on January 2023, a more positive market during February helped close the gap on the year to date figures up to the end of February. In total, 662 new tractors were registered by the end of February 2024, a 7% decline compared with the period during 2023 when 712 new tractors were registered.

Of the 662 registrations so far this year, 231 were recorded in February resulting in a monthly increase of 2% when compared with February 2023, according to new figures from the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA).

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations for the first two months combined were Cork (101 units), Tipperary (67 units) and Limerick (38 units).

Interestingly, exactly half of the counties in ROI have seen a rise in new registrations for the first two months of the year while the other half recorded a decline in figures for the period. Cork, alone, recorded a 13.5% increase in the number of new tractors registered, up 12 units from 89 in 2023.

Larger tractors

The most popular power band was the 161 to 200hp category, which accounted for 25.1% or 166 units of all new tractors registered up to the end of February. Until now, the most popular power band had been the 141hp to 160hp category which is now third most popular, accounting for 19% of the market to date. The 101hp to 120hp category was second most popular, accounting for 20.2% of new tractors registered. The 200hp+ category accounted for 12.83% of new registrations, up from 7.72% in Jan-Feb 2023.

Used tractors

The FTMTA data shows that 225 imported used tractors were first-time registered in Ireland during February 2024, 70 units or 23.7% less than in February 2023. In total, 427 used, imported tractors were registered by the end of February, an 18.6% annual decline.

Northern Ireland

Figures provided by the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) for Northern Ireland show that there were 47 new tractors registered in January 2024 and a further 48 in February. This takes the total year to date figure to 95 units, just one unit behind the same period in 2023.

UK registrations

The UK as a whole (including NI), recorded 475 new tractor registrations in January and 477 new registrations during February. This equated to year on year decrease in new registrations of 26.2% for January and 2.1% decrease for February.

The total 952 new registrations for the year to date (Jan-Feb) is 15.8% behind those for the period during 2023 and the lowest on record for the two-month period since 2001. That said, the AEA noted that the opening two months are traditionally quiet months for UK registrations. March marks the start of the split registration year (similar to July in ROI) and therefore will shed more light on the state of market. Traditionally, March records peak monthly registrations.