The final count of registrations for road use of agricultural tractors (over) 50hp) in the UK for 2013 was 12,498 units which represents a decrease of 10.4% on the 2012 level

The average size of unit sold in 2013 is provisionally put at 150.4 hp which was 1.6% above the preceding year. Accordingly the total power sold fell 9% to just below 1.9 million hp.

As had been expected, the early months saw lower levels of registrations as the comparison was made with artificially buoyant conditions seen in early 2012 but as the year progressed the market stabilised and the last 4 months of the year all saw rises over the equivalent months in 2012 (see table).

Since the year 2000 tractor unit registrations have varied between a low of just over 10,000 units and a high of over 17,000 and last year’s figure was some 9% below the average level. However, in terms of total power sold, this was some 3% above the average due to the continual rise in average power.

Farming has experienced some tough times over the last couple of years, largely due to unfavourable weather conditions. As this comment is being written gales and heavy rain are once again causing some distress but if we can assume these to not be unduly prolonged then there is the prospect of a somewhat better year ahead for most agricultural sectors.  Accordingly the trade is currently of the view that sales of tractors may be expected to increase modestly in 2014.

For those farmers contemplating further investment there remains the attraction of the enhanced Annual Investment Allowances which were introduced for a limited 2 year period expiring at the end of this calendar year; this opportunity may encourage interest over the next few months.