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May 10, 2020

Big Lift in Tractor Sales for April 

April has turned into a “blowout” month for tractor sales across most of Australia as the industry, driven by improved weather prospects along with the increase in the Instant Asset Write of program to $150,000 continues to avoid  the current troubles associated with the  COVID 19 virus.

Tractor sales reported a year on year increase of 40% for April and are now 7% ahead on a year to date basis.

Around the states, huge lifts were seen in all Eastern states, Victoria continues to enjoy a bumper year, up another 44% on the same month last year, now 22% ahead for 2020.   NSW was up 38% for the month, now 4% up year to date and Queensland “had a blinder” rising 78% compared to last April and now sits 3% ahead of last year. The same story occurred in South Australia, 63% up for the month and now 17% ahead of last year whilst Tasmania reported a 52% lift in April to be 15% ahead for the year.

The story in the West continues to lag, 10% down for the month, 15 % down YTD.

Not surprisingly unit sales were strong in all categories with the under 40hp (30kw) range, up 26% for the month off the back of the Instant Asset Write Off incentives. These now sit 3.3% ahead for the year to date.

The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was up strongly 37% now 1% ahead for the year and the 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category had another strong month up a whopping 63 %.  (23% for the YTD).

The 200hp (150kw) and above range enjoyed a lift of 27% for the month and is now 6% behind year to date.

Whilst it might seem tempting to be quite excited by recent months sales figures, we do attach a note of caution to these results.

Firstly, there can be no denying that the Governments Instant Asset Write Off program has stimulated a lot of sales however this program is due to be scaled back on June 30 to the previous $30,000 limit. The TMA along has been working with the MTAA (Motor Traders Association of Australia) to lobby Canberra to have this program extended to at least September 2020 as we believe it is instrumental in supporting the general economic recovery.

Secondly, we are beginning to see signs of supply shortages in the market. With US and European Factory closures occurring as part of the wider COVID 19 lockdowns, supply of machinery to the Australian Market is becoming unpredictable, a situation that is expected to get worse before it gets better.

So, whilst we are enjoying the present level of activity, we remain watchful.

With regards to other products, sales of Combine Harvesters continue to be slow with only a small number of sales completing again in April with no great prospects for the year ahead despite the improving conditions.

Baler sales continue to be very strong up 3% year to date, it was the same story for sales of Out Front Mowers  now 21% ahead of the same time last year.

Gary Northover
Executive Director, TMA