Fewer agricultural tractors of more than 50hp are being registered in the UK, with the latest figures from the Agricultural Engineers Association revealing a 13% decline in March at 1939 units.

This adds to the fall in the first two months of 2024, with the result being, 2891 units were registered in the January to March period, which represents a fall of 13.8% on same time in 2023.

The Scottish Farmer: Tractor registrations are down in all areas for the first three months of 2024Tractor registrations are down in all areas for the first three months of 2024

While the figures are down, the total for March is 4% above the average for the time of year in the previous five years. That means that although the total of 2891 machines for the year to date is 14% lower than in the opening three months of last year, it is only 5% down on the average for January to March in recent years.

Analysis of registrations of tractors by engine power show that there was some growth for the largest machines. The number of tractors of more than 240hp registered was up by nearly 40%, compared with the first quarter of 2023.

These machines accounted for 14% of registrations this year, up from just 9% a year ago. Below this level (but more than 50hp), there were nearly 20% fewer tractors registered, with a similar rate of decline across most broad power bands.

The Scottish Farmer: Horsepower is also downHorsepower is also down

Registrations fell the most in the first three months of 2024 in the home counties of around London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, with those in Scotland falling 12%. (See table).

According to Stephen Howarth of AEA, the latest figures suggest that, while demand is clearly not as strong as it was in the previous couple of years, there are still plenty of buyers out there for tractors.