New tractor registrations in January indicate a very strong start to 2021, according to figures from the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA).
The figures show that 478 new tractors were registered in January, up 11% on the 429 units registered in the same month last year.
“This was the highest level of registrations in the first month of the year since 2009 when 551 units were registered in January of that year.
“This was the last month of high registration activity before new tractor registrations effectively went off a cliff later that year as the impact of the global economic downturn made itself felt. New tractor registrations ultimately fell by over 70% in 2009 versus 2008,” explained FTMTA chief executive Gary Ryan.
All counties saw some new tractors registered during January which is not always the case. The three counties with the highest levels of registrations were Cork (67 units), Tipperary (44 units) and Galway (30 units).
Wicklow was the county with the lowest level of registrations with two units.
The 101hp to 120hp range continued to be the power band with the highest level of registrations with 163 units or over 34% of all registrations in January.
Meanwhile, 94% of all tractors registered were over 100hp, 60% over 120hp and 28% over 150hp.
The Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) figures show that 44 new tractors were registered in Northern Ireland in January, up 83% on the 24 units registered in the same month last year.
Overall UK tractor registrations had a strong January recording a monthly total of 586 machines, up 17% on January 2020.
Registrations of used imported tractors continued the strong performance seen throughout 2020 with 508 units registered during January, up a significant 69% compared to January 2020.
This was higher than any single month of last year and according to the FTMTA, is very possibly one of the highest monthly levels of used import registrations seen in many years.
The association has said it seems likely that many of the used imported tractors registered last month were units that were brought into the country in late 2020 in advance of the post-Brexit imposition of customs and import regulations.
A total of 67 new telehandlers were registered in January, down 38% on the 108 units registered a year previous.
The FTMTA noted that this was a continuation of the trend in 2020 when telehandler registrations were affected severely by the public health restrictions and consequent effects on much construction and commercial activity.
Meanwhile, 16 new wheel loaders were registered in January, down on the 25 units for the same month last year.
Despite the drop, the FTMTA noted that this was a credible number considering 2020 was a very strong year with registrations showing a 59% increase on 2019.
Backhoe loaders had a welcome recovery in registrations in January, with nine units registered, up from six units in the same month last year. Registrations of such units were well down in 2020, mainly due to restrictions on construction activity.
A total of only 32 machines were registered throughout the year as against 66 in 2019 and 70 in 2018.