Rural Finance NI has reported that Northern Ireland bucked the trend in the 2016 UK-wide fall in new tractor sales.
Whilst across the UK registrations for 2016 fell on average, Northern Ireland saw an increase of 3% from the previous year. Tractor registrations are taken as a broad indicator of the strength of the domestic market for all agricultural equipment and suggests an improved appetite for investment by the province’s farmers.
Interestingly, the demand for second-hand tractors is significantly on the rise across the whole of the UK at the moment.
Terry McCarron from Rural Finance NI said that they have also found this to be the case here in the province. He explains that as farmers continue to update their machinery, rather than purchasing new, the second-hand trade particularly with tractors has continued to grow.
He continued: “Economic uncertainty relating to Brexit, coupled with significant increases in manufacturer’s prices for new tractor models has resulted in quality second-hand options becoming increasingly attractive.”
The weakened pound has also continued to attract Republic of Ireland purchasers at the front end of 2017 resulting in increased machinery sales here in Northern Ireland.
Terry explains: “The down side of this is that northern customers are now competing against a larger market and inevitably in time this will increase competition for the used machinery available.”
As machinery sales increase and interest rates remain low, the option of financing vehicles and farm machinery, particularly on Hire Purchase continues to be very attractive to farm businesses. Terry points out that the key benefits of buying on HP are:
l Better cash flow – the asset can be used immediately whilst your repayments are spread, giving your business a better cash flow
l Tax and cost efficient – monthly repayments don’t attract VAT and your business can claim tax relief on the interest charges. As the purchase is classified as an asset, the depreciation can be written off against taxable profits
l Easy to budget – your financial commitment and monthly repayments are clearly defined from the outset.
Carol, also from Rural Finance NI, says that farmers whether they work on a full or part-time basis can be assured that they will receive the most competitive quotes from them. She continued: “Because we are based in Northern Ireland we will provide the keenest rates to support local farmers.” She says that in terms of service: “Rural Finance NI can provide finance for all your agricultural and plant machinery (new and used); animal housing; renewable projects; and much more. Our aim is to provide the most competitive loans for farmers through our extensive network of lenders in the most efficient and straight forward way possible. You supply us with the details and we will process your proposal in as little as a few hours.”
Carol also explains that Rural Finance NI is continually striving to develop its service and can now support the growing poultry business in Northern Ireland. She says: “We are especially keen to support poultry farmers who are updating their equipment and systems; and support already established egg producers who are considering an additional house.”
Terry finishes by pointing out: “Rural Finance NI’s success is reliant on its competitive, friendly, efficient and confidential service. Our team are all from agricultural backgrounds themselves and understand the demands and complexities of farming. So whether it is finance for a car, 4x4, tractor, animal housing or anything else why not give us a call to see what we can offer you!”
Call Rural Finance NI on 028 8289 8527 or go to the website: www.ruralfinanceni.co.uk for further information.