The recovery in sales of new tractors over 50hp in June has proved to be something of a false dawn as registrations recorded in July plummeted by 44% compared with the same month last year. According to the latest Agricultural Engineers’ Association (AEA) statistics, 868 units were registered in July 2020, as opposed to 1,548 units sold in July 2019.
In the year-to-date (January to July inclusive) tractor sales totalled 6,063 units, which represents a 28% reduction against the same period last year when 8,450 tractors were registered.
Needless to say, the steep drop in sales is bound to be of concern to tractor manufacturers and dealers alike.
The July figures suggest that the ongoing impact of COVID 19 is much deeper than originally thought, with political and economic uncertainty surrounding other issues such as Brexit and resultant trade deals further damaging confidence in what is an increasingly ‘twitchy’ marketplace.
With many farmers delaying decisions to invest in new tractors until the pandemic, economic and political picture is much clearer, there will be some pent-up demand that is bound to be released at some point in the future.
In the meantime, farmers are looking at ways to get more ‘bang for their buck’ out of their existing machines. Adding new implements and accessories such as front loaders, front linkages, PTOs and track systems is a great way to extract the maximum performance and productivity from any tractor, often at comparatively low cost. Furthermore, when the time is right to buy that brand-new tractor, the existing machine may well command an increased part-exchange value.