Growing confidence sees tractor sales peak in 10 years

The surge in sales of new tractors continued, with June sales the highest in a decade.

Statistics released by the Association of Agricultural Engineers (AEA) showed that 1,473 tractors were sold in June, an increase of more than 43% from the same month a year ago.

The figure is also more than a third above the June average over the previous five years and the highest figure for the month since 2010, according to AEA economist Stephen Howarth.

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The latest increase in registrations brings the cumulative total for the year to 6,844 units. This represents an increase of over 25% from the 5,461 sold between January and June last year and is 12% above the five-year average.

Mr Howarth said the increase could be attributed to increased confidence among farmers and producers as the harvest approached and grain prices remained high.

There was also an aspect of returning confidence as the UK began to open up again in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, he said the impact of the virus continued to disrupt raw material supply lines and hamper transport logistics.

“Steel factories around the world are grappling with back orders while battling virus outbreaks and workforce restrictions,” he said.

“An outbreak at a port in China last month shut down the entire facility, leaving ships stranded and containers stranded.

“It is typical and widespread, with difficulties throughout the supply chain,” said Howarth.

The ripple effect could affect tractor prices in the near future.

With increased customer demand and increasing competition from other industries emerging from the pandemic, manufacturers must pay a premium to secure raw materials.

“These factors are likely to drive up times and prices in the coming months,” Howarth suggested.

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