In­dus­try View Trac­tor sales im­prove in Au­gust

Aus­tralian trac­tor sales im­proved in Au­gust fol­low­ing a soft July

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents -

Fol­low­ing an un­ex­pected drop in sales in July, Aus­tralian trac­tor sales bounced back in Au­gust and are now 10.8 per cent ahead in dol­lar terms on last year on a year-to­date ba­sis. The Au­gust im­prove­ment was led by larger-horse­power trac­tors in NSW, Queens­land and WA.

The only soft spot was the un­der-40hp range that con­trib­uted to the on­go­ing weak­ness in Vic­to­ria, which was 25 per cent down on last month and is 15.5 per cent be­hind on a year-to-date ba­sis.

This is no doubt due to the stresses be­ing felt in the dairy space, along with an ex­tended win­ter. How­ever, we ex­pect an im­prove­ment in small trac­tor sales as spring warms up.

Sales of trac­tors in the 40-100hp range were up 14 per cent for the month, with 100-200hp up 2.6 per cent. The 200-plus range took a breather and fell 4.9 per cent. How­ever, it was up 12 per cent on a year-to-date ba­sis.

Trac­tors sales in NSW are a stand­out as that state’s econ­omy con­tin­ues its im­pres­sive run. Sales were up 22 per cent on last month and 6.6 per cent up year-to-date. Else­where around the na­tion, Queens­land and WA re­ported solid sales growth in ex­cess of 10 per cent, while Tas­ma­nian trac­tor sales jumped by 35 per cent. The North­ern Ter­ri­tory was the only other re­gion show­ing a de­cline, while trac­tor sales in South Aus­tralia re­mained largely steady.

It’s not just trac­tors that are mov­ing at the minute, as sales of com­bine har­vesters went a long way to­wards re­vers­ing last month’s re­sult with a whop­ping 52.3 per cent in­crease in sales. Com­bine har­vester sales are now two per cent up on a rolling 12-month ba­sis. Balers also con­tinue to per­form strongly with a 32 per cent in­crease on last month, and post­ing 2.4 per cent growth on a rolling 12 months.

Fi­nally, the sales of out-front mow­ers con­tinue to soar, up 40 per cent on last month and 18.5 per cent up year-on-year.

The stage is now set for what looks cer­tain to be an­other strong year for trac­tor sales. In­ter­est rates are low, the weather has been kind, and de­mand for most com­modi­ties re­mains strong. Im­porters and man­u­fac­tur­ers are gen­er­ally re­port­ing solid or­der books and lead times re­main stretched. Aus­tralia ap­pears to be a hot spot for ma­chin­ery sales for most in­ter­na­tional man­u­fac­tur­ers.

GARY NORTHOVER is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Trac­tor & Ma­chin­ery As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia (TMA). He can be con­tacted on (03) 9867 4289 or via email at gary.northover@tma.asn.au

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