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January 13, 2023

Another Record Year for Tractor Sales

The 2022 Year has now finished with another record year for Tractor sales. The month of December saw a 9% rise on the same month last year to bring the full year position 3% ahead. This represents around 19,000 units sold representing approximately $2.3 billion in value.

This is the second consecutive year we have seen such strong activity, a period not seen in this country since the 1980’s. It wasn’t just tractors that experienced a big year with Combine Harvester sales again up strongly with a total of 1,145 units sold. This represents a rise of 6% on 2021.

The drivers of this activity have been well documented with the strength of the market for agricultural commodities, as evidenced by this year’s record grain harvest combined with the Governments Temporary Full Expensing program accounting for much, however this has all been underpinned by the strength of the Used Equipment Market. Farmers have been taking advantage of the used value of their machines and upgrading to newer productive lower emissions tractors.

Looking at the figures in detail, all states except for South Australia recorded rises for the month. Queensland continued its recent strong run with an 11% rise to be 14% up for the year, NSW was in line with last year to finish the year down 1% and Victoria recorded a strong month up 18% to finish the year 2% up.

Sales in Western Australia were again strong, up a mammoth 31% ending the year 4.4% ahead. South Australia recorded a 6% decline to be 3% off for the full year. Tasmania enjoyed a small rise of 1.5% for the month but finished the year 10% behind last year and sales in the NT ended 11% ahead of 2021

The biggest rise in machine category sales this month was again in the small under 40 hp (30kw) category, which was up 30% to end the year 12% ahead. The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was up 2% in the month to finish 2% ahead and the 100 to 200hp (75-150 kw) category was also up, this time by 6% in December to be 2% behind full year.

Sales in the large 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range “took a breather” this month, down 8% but 3% ahead of 2021.

Challenges in the hay market continue with production down across the nation. This has led to baler sales being down 33% in December and down on last year by the same margin.

Finally, sales of Out – Front Mowers have experienced a “down” year, behind by 21%.

The outlook for 2023 remains positive even with the Temporary Full Expensing Program ending in June. The biggest issue for the industry remains getting machines. Some Brands now have lead times out to 2024 for larger product in particular and remain reluctant to quote prices due to the ongoing volatility in the supply chain. An example of this can be seen in the recent movements in the shipping market. The price for containerised freight has dropped considerably off the back of the effective shutdown of China, however the price for RORO has leapt more than four-fold due to a mix of increased volumes, increased turnaround times at port and competition for ships due to the massive supply of military equipment to Europe. The Challenging times continue.