Covid suppresses European tractor sales

The roughly 69,000 new tractors registered in Europe during the first six months of this year is down by more than 12.0% on the same period (78,291) in 2019.

by Steven Vale

14 Oct 2020

According to CEMA, the European Agricultural Machinery Association, this year started on par with 2019 for January and February 2020, but dropped significantly in March (-7.11% versus 2019), April (-25.81%), May (-22.72%) and June (-12.03%), reflecting the Covid pandemic across Europe.

CEMA figures show that new tractor registrations in Germany, one of Europe’s biggest markets, fell by just 2.75% in the first six months, but the numbers in the second main market of France tumbled by nearly 19.0%. In the other three important European markets of Italy, the UK and Spain, registrations fell by 17.98%, 25.21% and 25.62% respectively.

Split roughly one third below 50hp and two-thirds above, when comparing the trends per power category, registrations for all tractors decreased during the first six months of this year compared with 2019.

Grassland equipment sales in Europe are also affected. There are no figures, but CEMA reports a significant decrease in sales this season (2019-2020) when compared to the previous two seasons, with forage wagons, mowers, rakes and tedders all affected.

The drop is not due entirely to Covid. Adverse weather conditions in some regions, the global market for dairy products and the continued trend towards fewer but larger machines also play a role.

Manufacturers expect the markets to stabilise next year, although the UK and Ireland remain unpredictable, suggests CEMA, and Covid could cause further disruption.