Members of AEA supply a wide range of machinery and equipment to the UK market, which can broadly be split into two categories: farm equipment and outdoor power equipment. Some key facts about the UK market can be found on this page, along with information about exports of agricultural engineering products from the UK.

A more detailed description of the agricultural engineering market and the key factors which influence it, be they environmental, political or economic, can be found in our Overview of the Agricultural Engineering Market.

Farm Equipment

As the name suggests, the farm equipment industry provides a range of equipment used by farmers. AEA members primarily supply equipment for use in the field, either to support the growing of crops or for the management of grassland and other fodder crops to feed animals.  

The value of sales of new farm equipment in 2016 was an estimated £1.5 billion. This is somewhat below most recent years, due to lower unit sales, but is similar to 2015. Sales figures for used farm equipment are not available and neither are sales of parts. Therefore, the total size of the UK farm equipment market will have been substantially larger than this.

The table below covers some of the main categories of equipment and shows the estimated size of the UK market for new equipment, in terms of the number of units delivered annually. Figures for tractors are based on registrations for road use. More details of tractor registrations can be found on the Tractor stats page.

 

                   Size of UK farm equipment market (number of units)

 Calendar year

5-year average
2011-2015

2015 2016 % change
2015-2016
2016 diff
from 5-year
average
 Agricultural tractors (over 50hp) 12,764 10,842 10,602 -2 -17
 Telehandlers 3,220 2,775 2,700 -3 -16
 Tractor loaders 3,800 3,040 3,250 +7 -14
 Ploughs 920 700 650 -7 -30
 Power harrows 1,180 880 900 +2 -24
 Sprayers 900 835 830 -1 -8
 Utility ATVs 6,350 6,750 7,050 +5 +11
 Utility vehicles (side x sides) 5,100 5,600 6,100 +9 +19
 Mowers/mower conditioners 3,065 2,575 2,560 -1 -16
           
 Seasonal year 5-season average
2010/11 - 2014/15
2014/15 2015/16  % change
14/15-15/16 
2015/16 diff
from 5-season
average
 Combines 870 620 530 -15 -39
 Self propelled foragers 160 173 160 -8 0
 Round balers 1,310 1,125 900 -20 -31
 Big square balers 290 250 175 -30 -40

  

Outdoor Power Equipment

The total domestic market for outdoor power equipment has been estimated at more than £710 million in 2016, an increase of 4% on the previous year.

The 2016 season for lawnmowers started slowly after an extremely wet winter but sales were relatively good for a year with an early Easter bank holiday. Volume sales ended up being 0.4% higher than the previous year at just under 1.7 million units. The overall value of lawnmower sales grew by 6%, partly due to consumers switching to higher priced cordless and autonomous robotic mower models and partly due to higher market prices set early in the year as a result of raw material cost pressures.

Sales of mowers are estimated to have been worth more than £250 million in total, with volumes in the region of 36,400 petrol ride-ons, more than 340,000 petrol pedestrian units and some 1.22 million electric units. In addition, there were about 7,000 commercial mowers valued at below £80 million and 2,700 compact and sub-compact tractors worth in the region of £40 million.

The value of sales of chainsaws, brush cutters/trimmers, hedge trimmers and garden vac/blowers is believed to have been around £250 million, of which 38% is attributed to electric units and the rest to petrol models.

 

Exports and Imports

UK exports of agricultural and outdoor power equipment in 2016, including parts and used machinery, were valued at just under £2 billion. The value of this trade was slightly up on 2015. There was particularly strong growth during the year for used tractors and non-agricultural mowers but this was offset by lower shipments of new tractors and tractor engines.

UK imports were slightly greater in value, at £2.1 billion and were 4% up on the previous year. A summary of trade for the main types of equipment can be found in the table below.

UK imports and exports of agricultural engineering products

 

 Exports

  Imports

 Product category

Value
   (£ million, 2016)

Change
     2015-16

Value
   (£ million, 2016) 

 Change
    2015-16

New tractors  813.0  -2% 559.7  +12% 
Non-agricultural mowers 186.0  +43% 211.7  +6% 
Harvesting and threshing machinery 185.3  +11% 521.8  +6% 
Wheeled tractors - used 157.3  +81% 7.2  +15% 
Soil preparation and cultivation machinery  76.8  +11% 177.8  +9% 
Engines for tractors  72.2  -64% 35.3  -53% 
Handtools  35.0  -3% 160.8  -0% 
Engines for OPE equipment  5.5  -2% 42.7  +64% 
Other agricultural machinery  403.9  +2% 400.8  -1% 
Total   1,935.0  +1% 2,117.6  +4% 

Source: Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs