The upturn in agricultural tractor registrations (over 50hp) seen in recent months continued into March, normally the peak month for registrations each year. The monthly total of 2,085 machines was 15% higher than in March 2020. Indeed, it was the highest monthly total for any month since March 2012 (and the first time over 2,000 machines have been registered in a single month in that time). That brings the total for the year to date to 3,259 registrations, 13% more than in the opening quarter of 2020.
In England, the rise in registrations was more obvious in the Eastern half of the country, although the South West also saw a significant increase. This part of the country bore the brunt of the wet weather in autumn 2019, which will have affected demand for tractors in early 2020. The West Midlands and North West both saw slightly fewer machines registered this year, as did the Home Counties, although figures for the latter region have been quite volatile in recent years. Scotland and Wales both recorded only modest year-on-year rises but Northern Ireland saw the biggest increase of any region, with registrations up by nearly two-thirds, compared with the first quarter of last year.
There were mixed trends across the power range, with strong growth for machines under 60hp, between 120 and 150hp and between 220 and 320hp. Between those ranges, growth was more modest or there was actually a decline in registrations. The most obvious fall was in the 150-200hp range, where 68 fewer machines were registered this year (-7%).