Used tractor imports to the end of August have witnessed a significant 82.5% jump on the same period in 2020, according to figures from the Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA).
Registrations are sitting at 2,803 units to the end of August this year. Figures from 2020 show 1,536 units were logged to the end of August.
The significant increase can somewhat be put down to the closure of NCT centres under COVID-19 public health restrictions.
Despite this, it was anticipated by many that tractor import figures would decline in 2021, or at least in the first months of the year, due to the strict new regulations imposed by EU legislation for the trade (import and export) of secondhand or used machinery between the EU and third countries (non-EU).
It was previously estimated that 95% of used tractors imported into Ireland came from the UK. Despite this, the January (508 units), February (460) and March (403) monthly import numbers for 2021 recorded the highest three individual monthly import figures on record.
Highest on record
If we look at how 2021 has performed to date in comparison with the pre-Brexit and pre-COVID eras, this year’s figures remain the highest since 2015.
In addition, the year-to-date figures are currently higher than the entire yearly import stats for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, but not 2019 (3,045 units) or 2020 (3,010).
The huge demand for clean, used tractors comes when new tractor sales are also at their strongest in 13 years.
New tractor registrations to the end of August are running 28% (458 units) higher than the same period last year.
With 2,084 new tractors logged in the first eight months, registrations have now surpassed the total new tractor sales in Ireland last year, and in fact are the highest registrations on record since 2008.