au­gust bo­nanza

Trac­tor sales are head­ing for an­other record year

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Industry View -

Gary Northover is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Trac­tor & Ma­chin­ery As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia (TMA). He can be con­tacted on (03) 9867 4289 or

Au­gust was an­other par­tic­u­larly strong month for sales of agri­cul­tural equip­ment across Aus­tralia, continuing the trend of record vol­umes for the previous few months.

Sales for the month were up a whop­ping 12.7 per cent on what was a strong July and now sit 10.6 per cent up on a year-to-date ba­sis. In dol­lar terms, we are see­ing an­other very strong re­sult with sales track­ing be­yond the $1.2 bil­lion mark for the year.

De­mand for trac­tors in all size ranges is strong right across the coun­try with a re­cent down-patch in Western Aus­tralia and South Aus­tralia be­ing re­versed with strong sales, WA up 17.4 per cent for the month and now less than 10 per cent down on last year. SA had a par­tic­u­larly strong month, up 30 per cent, and is now placed 10 per cent up on the same time last year.

Sales in Queens­land were steady for the month and sit 12 per cent up on last year. Vic­to­rian sales were again very strong – led by the un­der-40hp cat­e­gory – up 13 per cent on last month and now 26 per cent up on last year.

New South Wales had a par­tic­u­larly strong pe­riod, 19 per cent up for the month and now 4 per cent up on last year, while ac­tiv­ity in Tasmania has been very healthy, sit­ting nearly 30 per cent up on last year.

Fi­nally, sales in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory are po­si­tioned up 18 per cent on last year.

The strength of the un­der-40hp or ‘leisure’ mar­ket con­tin­ues to be the stand­out for trac­tor sales with an in­crease of 26 per cent on last month and now 16 per cent up on last year.

Clearly, the mar­ket’s ap­petite for this range of prod­uct has pleased many in the in­dus­try and is a clear rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the high lev­els of con­fi­dence that are be­ing felt by this seg­ment across the na­tion.

The larger end of the mar­ket too re­mains quite strong, with Au­gust de­liv­er­ies once again beat­ing the previous month.

Sales in the 100hp to 200hp range in­creased yet again and are now up 13 per cent on last year; the larger range above 200hp sits about 8 per cent ahead. The dis­tri­bu­tion of sales con­tin­ues to re­flect the move to­wards larger-ca­pac­ity trac­tors and, with ex­ten­sive com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket, buy­ers are cap­i­tal­is­ing on the op­por­tu­nity to up­grade.

There are some early signs that com­bine har­vester sales may not meet ex­pected lev­els this year, with some chal­lenges be­ing fore­cast for this year’s har­vest.

As we re­ported last month, har­vester sales tend to oc­cur on the ba­sis of around 50 per cent com­mit­ted at the end of each har­vest and around 50 per cent pur­chased from stock units that man­u­fac­tur­ers im­port in an­tic­i­pa­tion of fur­ther sales.

Sales of these stock units ap­pear to be down on ini­tial ex­pec­ta­tions so we will see a lower vol­ume sold by year’s end.

This, of course, augers well for those cashed-up buy­ers who are able to take ad­van­tage of the ready avail­abil­ity of stock.

Baler sales con­tinue to slow once again off last year’s very high numbers due in part to the vari­able weather con­di­tions. Fi­nally, sales of out-front mow­ers, linked to the ‘leisure’ mar­ket, dipped this month but re­main ahead of last year’s numbers.

Left: John Deere 8800 self-pro­pelled for­age har­vester. © Deere & Com­pany

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