CEMA - the European association that represents the agricultural machinery industry - compiles data relating to registrations of new tractors across Europe.

Overall, it says, a total of "approximately 177,000" new 'tractors' were registered across Europe in 2018.

The data reportedly came from national authorities in the relevant countries.

Of these registrations, 39,784 new tractors were under 50hp and, consequently, 137,503 were above 50hp.

However, delving further into the detail, CEMA estimates that 146,927 of the total figures were what could be described as agricultural tractors - the rest being ATVs, telescopic handlers or other equipment.

Agricultural tractor registrations are thought to have declined by around 12% compared with 2017. Despite this decline, 2018 is considered to have been a positive year for tractor sales.

The reason for the decline in registrations is partially due to the "high number of pre-registered units in December 2017".

A CEMA statement explained: "New legislation for tractors came into force on January 1, 2018, which meant that all units that were only in compliance with the previous technical requirements had to be registered before the introduction date.

"This resulted in a peak in registrations in December 2017 without an increase in underlying demand. These pre-registered tractors will mostly have been actually sold in 2018, but sales of these units are not taken into account in the 2018 registration figures."

This graph (below), from CEMA, shows that registrations in December 2017 peaked and were, subsequently, relatively low in the first quarter of 2018.

[caption id="attachment_356175" align="aligncenter" width="968"] Source: CEMA[/caption]

According to the organisation, when estimating the trend without this unusual peak and trough, it becomes "apparent that demand recovered slightly in 2018".