2018: Rise of the ma­chines Derek Casey

Asks five lead­ers from the Ir­ish ma­chin­ery trade how 2017 will be re­mem­bered and about the out­look for the year ahead

Irish Independent - Farming - - MACHINERY -

I think that over­all it has been quite a good year for the trade and cer­tainly far bet­ter than might have been ex­pected in the ear­lier months. As of the end of Novem­ber, reg­is­tra­tions of new trac­tors stood at 1,765 units which, while still a 5pc de­crease year on year, is a con­sid­er­able im­prove­ment on the po­si­tion at the end of March when reg­is­tra­tions for the first quar­ter were 17pc less than they had been at the same point in 2016. We were then com­ing off the back of a dif­fi­cult pe­riod in terms of milk price. Sales of most cat­e­gories of im­ple­ments have proved re­silient in re­cent years, par­tic­u­larly in re­la­tion to grass equip­ment of all types. 2017 has been a very pos­i­tive year de­spite the neg­a­tiv­ity and dif­fi­cul­ties in grain prices and some­what un­sea­son­able weather in some ar­eas. It started ex­tremely slow with busi­ness lev­els quite stag­nant but once we got the bet­ter sum­mer type weather busi­ness soared with the ma­jor­ity of busi­ness com­pleted late in the spring and early sum­mer close to silage sea­son. Busi­ness was def­i­nitely led by the dairy sec­tor where we are see­ing good on-farm prices. And this has given rise to con­fi­dence as we are see­ing many buy­ers pur­chas­ing ma­chines ear­lier now for de­liv­ery in 2018 sum­mer. Tillage ma­chin­ery busi­ness in 2017 was helped by the much needed TAMS II scheme.

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