reap­ing records

Trac­tor sales now sit 8 per cent ahead on a year-to­date ba­sis fol­low­ing an­other solid month in May, Garry Northover writes

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

Trac­tor sales recorded an­other solid month in May, main­tain­ing the march to­wards an­other record year.

Over­all trac­tor sales now sit 8 per cent ahead on a year-to-date ba­sis. We are also well past the 12,000 trac­tor sales mark for the third year in a row.

The strength of the mar­ket con­tin­ues to be found in the mid-horse­power range, with the 100-200hp range up 7.5 per cent on last month and now 23 per cent ahead on the year to date. The 40-100hp sec­tor was solid again, up 6 per cent and con­tin­ues to per­form strongly.

By con­trast, sales of larger trac­tors in the above 200hp range have once again slipped be­hind last year’s mark, down a size­able 26 per cent in May and now 8 per cent be­hind year to date. Mean­while, the un­der 40hp range gave up its April gains, down 4 per cent, which po­si­tions the range 2 per cent be­hind last year.

At­tempts to in­ter­pret the fac­tors be­hind these re­sults can be a bit dif­fi­cult as larger trac­tors in par­tic­u­lar tend to be or­dered against longer lead times, so de­ci­sions made late last year are sig­nif­i­cant in terms of cur­rent de­liv­er­ies. What we do know is sales of hay tools are down, the dairy in­dus­try is steady, the cost of money is ris­ing, and weather pat­terns across the na­tion have var­ied sig­nif­i­cantly. Fur­ther­more, many in the in­dus­try are ask­ing the ques­tion: “Just how many new trac­tors can the mar­ket ab­sorb in one year?”

We know that the num­ber of in­di­vid­ual farms has dropped over re­cent years, as has land us­age, so at some point we ought to see a level of sat­u­ra­tion, al­beit short term in na­ture. No doubt the po­si­tion will be­come clearer in the months ahead.

Around the na­tion, busi­ness re­mains brisk in WA, up an­other 19 per cent this month and now 10 per cent ahead of last year. Sales in Vic­to­ria were off 5 per cent and are now slightly ahead of last year, while NSW and SA were up an­other 16 per cent for the month. The only sig­nif­i­cant drop off was in Queens­land which, af­ter a num­ber of pos­i­tive months, dropped 15 per cent for the month but re­mains 7 per cent up on last year.

Sales of har­vesters are still yet to get go­ing (63 units against 42 units last year), how­ever deal­ers are gen­er­ally pre­dict­ing a slower year this year thanks to a lower 2017 crop com­bined with some new mod­els slowly hit­ting the mar­ket.

Baler sales did dip in May, how­ever we’ve now sold 81 units this year com­pared with 72 last year as the mar­ket slowly re­cov­ers from what was an ‘off’ year. The sale of out-front mow­ers was down for the first time in re­cent me­mory and is now in line with the same time last year.

Trac­tor sales steady in May (Sweet­yMommy / iS­tock Ed­i­to­rial / Getty Im­ages Plus / Getty Im­ages)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.