mixed for­tunes

Drought com­bined with a bag of eco­nomic forces in­clud­ing ex­change rate, in­ter­est rates, and im­prov­ing over­seas de­mand are all hav­ing an im­pact on farm ma­chin­ery sales, Gary Northover of the Trac­tor and Ma­chin­ery As­so­ci­a­tion (TMA) re­ports

Farms & Farm Machinery - - INDUSTRY VIEW -

Sales of agri­cul­tural equip­ment dipped in Au­gust, a sign that the ef­fects of the drought in the east­ern states are be­gin­ning to sink in.

Trac­tor sales, par­tic­u­larly in NSW, were greatly af­fected, down 25 per cent on last month and are now 3 per cent be­hind on a year to date ba­sis. The pic­ture in Vic­to­ria was not much bet­ter, down 4 per cent for the month and now in line with last year. In Queens­land, the ‘dam­age’ was con­tained some­what, only 1 per cent be­hind last month and now 2 per cent be­hind year to date.

The pic­ture else­where in the coun­try is starkly dif­fer­ent. Sales in Western Aus­tralia were again strong, up 10 per cent on last month and re­main­ing 10 per cent ahead year to date. Busi­ness is boom­ing in South Aus­tralia, up 14 per cent for the month and now up 11 per cent for the year. Fi­nally, the NT sales were up 60 per cent for the month, while Tas­ma­nia was also up, this month a fur­ther 5 per cent.

Tak­ing a look at the four re­port­ing cat­e­gories for trac­tors, we can see that the small un­der-40hp size ranges slowed no­tice­ably, 17.5 per cent be­hind last month and now 5 per cent be­hind year to date.

The pic­ture is sim­i­lar for the 40-100hp range, down an­other 8 per cent, but marginally higher year to date. The large end of the scale above 200hp is suf­fer­ing, down 8 per cent for the month and now 9 per cent be­hind year to date.

The only bright spot ap­pears to be in the 100-200hp range, up 4 per cent for the month and sit­ting 9 per cent ahead for the year. In­deed, it is this size range that ap­pears to be do­ing the ‘heavy lift­ing’ when it comes to the trac­tor mar­ket.

The com­monly held view ap­pears to be that we may have reached a bit of a sat­u­ra­tion point when it comes to the large end of the range and the smaller trac­tors, long dom­i­nated by the leisure mar­ket, may also be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a pause af­ter run­ning hot for so long.

Sales of com­bine har­vesters have not yet been re­ported in any great num­bers as the win­dow for de­liv­er­ies be­gins this month. Most deal­ers are play­ing their cards close to their chest in terms of the suc­cess or oth­er­wise this sea­son. The west is buoy­ant but there is a fair de­gree of pes­simism in the east­ern states. The full pic­ture will un­fold in the com­ing weeks.

Baler sales re­main sub­dued, down an­other 4 per cent in Au­gust and now 16 per cent on last year. Once again we are see­ing a damp­en­ing of de­mand here in re­sponse to the broader mar­ket.

Fi­nally, sales of out-front mow­ers are down a fur­ther 16 per cent this month, now 6 per cent be­hind for the year. Not sur­pris­ingly, the in­dus­try’s run of good for­tune ap­pears to be slow­ing for the first time in five years.

Drought, com­bined with a bag of eco­nomic forces in­clud­ing ex­change rate, in­ter­est rates, and im­prov­ing over­seas de­mand are all set to have an im­pact.

Sales of com­bine har­vesters have not yet been re­ported in any great num­bers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.