According to figures released by the AEA, registrations of new tractors (+ 50hp) in September 2020 totalled 1,187 units, representing an increase of 18% compared with the same month last year and almost doubling the sales recorded for the month of August 2020.
These latest numbers mark a return to year-on-year growth for the first time since February and for only the second time in twelve months.
The running total for the year to date is now up to 7,870 units, which is still some 22.3% below figures recorded for the same period in 2019.
A spokesperson for the AEA said that part of the explanation for the improved sales in September “may be due to manufacturers working through a backlog of orders which built up while factories were closed earlier in the year” and “signs that the machinery market has picked up over the summer.”
Given that tractor registrations recorded in 2020 for the five months of April to August inclusive were on average just under a third down on the same period last year, there may also have been an element of farmers delaying their decisions to place orders in a market beset by challenges including Brexit, weather extremes and, more recently, the pandemic. If so, it may – just may – be the first sign that confidence is returning.