and we’re off!

There’s an­other bright year ahead for trac­tor sales

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

Fol­low­ing on from what has been an out­stand­ing two-year run, sales of agri­cul­tural trac­tors ex­pe­ri­enced an­other bump in Jan­uary as con­di­tions re­main sta­ble across the key mar­kets.

Over­all sales were up a fur­ther 4 per cent on the same time last year and sit 7 per cent ahead on a ‘rolling 12-month’ ba­sis.

The smaller un­der-40hp ‘leisure’ cat­e­gory was down around 10 per cent, at­trib­uted to the hol­i­day sea­son, with the 40-100hp range up around 4 per cent on Jan­uary last year.

Ac­tiv­ity in the large trac­tor range was again very strong, with the 100-200hp sec­tor up 17 per cent and the above-200hp cat­e­gory up 15 per cent.

Across the states, ac­tiv­ity was quite var­ied with the south­ern states down – Vic­to­ria and South Aus­tralia were in line with last year, while Tas­ma­nia was off 10 per cent. New South Wales (up 12.5 per cent) and Queens­land (up 5.4 per cent) were both busy, and Western Aus­tralia was down 1 per cent.

Not sur­pris­ingly, sales of har­vesters were quiet, with a small num­ber of baler sales also re­ported.

The sale of out-front mow­ers con­tin­ues to roar, up an­other 8 per cent on the same time last year due to the large amount of grass around.

Look­ing ahead, ex­pec­ta­tions are once again high for an­other strong year in the agri­cul­tural equip­ment mar­ket, al­though not without its chal­lenges.

Man­u­fac­tur­ers and im­porters are be­gin­ning to see a re­turn to healthy con­di­tions in the US and Europe. This will ul­ti­mately im­pact sup­ply to the Aus­tralian mar­ket, which has been one of the few bright spots glob­ally.

With an in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion boom tak­ing place in NSW and Vic­to­ria, com­bined with im­prov­ing con­di­tions in the min­ing sec­tor, labour short­ages are be­gin­ning to once again be felt in the ag sec­tor.

The tight­en­ing of the 457 Visa regime has added fur­ther stress to the labour sup­ply side and we see this as an on­go­ing is­sue for deal­ers across the coun­try.

We are see­ing a con­tin­u­a­tion of a more-so­phis­ti­cated ap­proach to the use of agri­cul­tural equip­ment by farm­ers and con­trac­tors as they con­tinue to adopt a greater fleet-man­age­ment fo­cus.

Be­cause farm­ers are so much more fo­cused on pro­duc­tiv­ity and con­stantly seek­ing to avoid down­time, the im­por­tance of lock­ing in known hourly op­er­at­ing costs is crit­i­cal. This means we’re see­ing more users trad­ing ma­chines out at around the 3500-4000-hour mark prior to any ma­jor re­pairs or re­fur­bish­ment re­quire­ments in much the same way as fleet op­er­a­tors do in other in­dus­tries.

These low-hour ma­chines are then eas­ily traded, en­sur­ing a healthy cy­cle ex­ists. As of De­cem­ber, stocks of used equip­ment re­main low and deal­ers re­main ready to deal.

Fi­nally, we are be­gin­ning to see an in­creased fo­cus on agri­cul­ture’s safety record. The TMA has, for many years, been at the fore­front, work­ing with the var­i­ous reg­u­la­tors to en­sure safety stan­dards are im­ple­mented and up­held, and we con­tinue to de­liver this work on be­half of our in­dus­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.