December has seen further declines registered for tractor sales across Australia with around 1100 units only being sold which is 35% behind the same month last year bringing the Year-to-date figure to a level of around 14,500, 25% behind the same time last year.
The picture is a little brighter in dollar terms however with sales 13% ahead of the same month last year ending the year 14.5% behind demonstrating that the biggest declines have occurred in the smaller size ranges.
Falls were experienced in all machine categories except for the 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range which was up an incredible 117% on the same month last year to finish the year 6% behind last year. Much of the activity for larger tractors appears to have occurred in WA where a late rush to deliver machines by year end has clearly been in play. The small under 40 hp (30kw) category was down by a whopping 56% for the month and is now 30% behind 2022. This “leisure” market has long been considered susceptible to interest rate rises and there is no doubt that buyers have felt the pinch in this regard, particularly in Victoria. The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was also down 45% and finished 28% behind year to date and lastly, the 100 to 200hp (75-150 kw) category was down 37%, ending 26% behind YTD.
Looking around the nation, all states have experienced significant drops again in the month, beginning with Queensland, down 33% against the same month last year to be 23% behind for the year. NSW was down 35% to be 27% off YTD, Victoria was off 49% and ended 31% behind compared to 2022. Sales in Western Australia were down 8% and ended 18% behind last year. South Australia was down 15% against the same month last year, 16% behind full year, Tasmania was off 30% for the month, 22% full year with sales in the NT finishing 19% down for the year.
Sales of Combine Harvesters finished the year strongly taking the full year tally to just under 1100 units. Whilst this was down 7% on 2022, it has been another strong year for combines in support of what has been a big harvest season. Baler sales have continued their up and down run, down 20% on December against the corresponding month last year to finish a mere 2 units below last year’s tally and sales of Out – Front Mowers were down by around 9% compared with the same time last year.
We have been forecasting for some time a return to more normal sales volumes following 2 years of unprecedented activity. The outlook for 2024 suggests more of the same, however with the El Nino effect not currently what was expected combined with ongoing supply chain challenges, accurate forecasting is as difficult as it has ever been.
This year’s TMA Conference scheduled to be held on Thursday July 18th to be held in Melbourne at the iconic MCG, a venue we last visited in 2017. Details regarding the event will be announced during the next few months with ticket sales likely to commence in April. This promises to be another great event, so please, SAVE THE DATE.