FTMTA Year in Review
The farm machinery year started in an upbeat mood with the largest ever FTMTA Farm Machinery Show held at Punchestown during early February and visited by a record attendance of 18,750 people in total with a huge crowd of some 7,500 on the final day. Exhibitors reported good interest across all lines of machinery with a feeling at the time that the pessimistic outlook around agricultural commodity pricing in late 2014 had eased somewhat. Unfortunately as the year continued that pessimism proved to be well founded with falling milk prices and stagnant grain prices. An upside was provided by exceptional grain yields and the ability to expand milk production unfettered by milk quota and aided by a very mild autumn.
The overall tone of the trade remained quite positive with good demand for grass machinery and a tractor market that far outperformed the main EU markets. The FTMTA statistics in relation to registration of new tractors during the first eleven months of 2015 show a remarkably stable tractor market in the Republic of Ireland with registrations down about 3% on the same period of 2014 whereas there has been a reduction of over 15% in the UK in the same period. Based on the FTMTA figures, the final level of registrations in Ireland for the year will be around 1,860 units making four consecutive years of a total new market in the range of 1,850 to 1,950 units. Such a market size will be a hugely challenging issue for the industry if it remains the norm in coming years as now seems to the case.
The Association was pleased to see the work of recent years in relation to the training of new service people for the sector come to fruition with the commencement of the first group of students on the new Bachelor of Science (Agricultural Mechanisation) course in IT Tralee. FTMTA believes that this course will produce the calibre of qualified personnel required by the industry and its customers in the future and the Association encourages its member firms to support the new program in the coming years.
FTMTA was also pleased to hold a well received conference during November covering a number of issues of significant importance for the sector and membership of the Association.
Be a part of a stronger farm machinery industry – join the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association – contact FTMTA at 045 409309 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.