LORRY loads of tractors are being sold to farmers in Cork and other parts of the south of Ireland in the final days before December 31.
Machinery traders in Northern Ireland say there has been a flurry of sales to Cork and other parts of the south in recent weeks, and months.
One trader, Brian Keys of Brian Keys Machinery in Omagh, said the sales of tractors to counties like Cork has helped deflect the impact of Covid-19 on his business.
He said: “Currently, tractors are better value than in the south and people want to buy before Brexit as they know now where they stand. We have seen a rush since June. Normally, June, July and August would be quiet months.”
He added: “It is after making up for the Covid hit.” However, he is confident that Brexit should not affect machinery trade between the north and south.
Another, Lloyd McCullagh of McCullagh Machinery, in Enniskillen, said his most recent delivery was a tractor to a buyer in Mallow on Saturday.
He is also keen to stress that although the rush of purchases by southern farmers is prompted by a fear that such deals in the future could be affected by Brexit, he is confident that there will be no adverse effect on the trade after the UK exits the European Union on December 31.
While imports from the UK will be affected, under the terms of the Northern Ireland protocol, trade between the north and Republic of Ireland will be unaffected.
Mr McCullagh said: “We have had a very busy December – not just with tractors, but also with grassland equipment and mowers for next summer. Cork has always been a big customer area of ours.
"We have 170 customers in Cork who have bought once or more times from us. We did a delivery to Mallow on Saturday morning.”