weather ef­fect

Trac­tor sales are steady, while har­vesters are com­ing off

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Industry View -

As we re­ported last month, sales of agri­cul­tural equip­ment have slowed across the na­tion as the in­dus­try be­gins to ex­pe­ri­ence some head­winds re­sult­ing from the var­i­ous weather events we have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

De­mand for ma­chines has been quite var­ied, with the sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences be­ing felt be­tween re­gions within the states em­pha­sis­ing the spe­cific im­pact weather is hav­ing.

De­spite this, we re­main on track to match last year’s record sales re­sult for trac­tors.

Oc­to­ber trac­tor sales were down 3 per cent, and while they are still 7 per cent up on last year, the mar­gin is clos­ing. It was once again the turn of the un­der-40hp seg­ment to slow, down 19 per cent on Septem­ber but still 8 per cent up on 2016.

The 40-100hp seg­ment was the one bright spot, up 10 per cent on Septem­ber, while the 100-200hp and above-200hp sec­tors were down 1.4 per cent and 6.8 per cent re­spec­tively.

Re­gion­ally, Vic­to­ria and Tas­ma­nia were the only states to re­port an in­crease in sales, in­dica­tive of more sta­ble weather con­di­tions than the other states. Vic­to­rian sales were up 3.5 per cent and sit 19 per cent up on last year; Tas­ma­nian sales were up a whop­ping 31 per cent on Septem­ber and are now 27 per cent up on 2016.

Else­where, Queens­land sales dipped 4.6 per cent but re­main 10 per cent up on last year; NSW was down 6 per cent and 3 per cent year-on-year; WA was down marginally 2 per cent for the month; and SA was down 10 per cent but still 5 per cent up on last year.

Sales of com­bine har­vesters have dipped no­tice­ably in line with this sea­son’s lower-than-ex­pected har­vest. Vol­umes were down 9 per cent on the same month last year with the YTD numbers broadly in line. It is hoped that a level of around 800 har­vesters will still be sold but sup­pli­ers are re­port­ing a gen­eral tight­en­ing across the board.

Baler sales have slowed con­sid­er­ably, down 34 per cent on the same month last year and still 22 per cent be­hind on a

YTD ba­sis. Th­ese were very strong last year off the back of an enor­mous hay-grow­ing sea­son, so it is no sur­prise to see th­ese flat­ten some­what given the year we have had.

Fi­nally, sales of out-front mow­ers, linked to the ‘leisure’ mar­ket, were well down again in Oc­to­ber but re­main in line with last year’s numbers.


The TMA has for some time been ad­vis­ing VicRoads on the es­tab­lish­ment of a new set of road rules to cover the move­ment of over­sized agri­cul­tural equip­ment on our roads. This work is in­tended to lead to the de­vel­op­ment of a set of na­tional guide­lines un­der the di­rec­tion of the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor (NHVR).

We are pleased to ad­vise that this work has now re­sulted in the pub­lish­ing of th­ese new rules, ti­tled Vic­to­rian Class 1 Agri­cul­tural Ve­hi­cle Ex­emp­tion No­tice 2017 (No.1).

Th­ese can be found here: www.leg­is­la­­tails/C2017G01199.

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

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