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December 12, 2023

Poor month for Tractor Sales in November

Further declines have occurred in tractor sales across Australia in the month of November with around 900 units only being sold which is 33% behind the same month last year bringing the Year-to-date figure to a level 24% behind the same time last year.

There have now been over 13,000 tractors sold this year, which is well ahead of the long-term trend, however if these declines continue, we can expect a much lower 2024 and potentially beyond.

There is no doubt that the market is adjusting to the higher-than-average sales volumes of 2021/2022 however economic and environmental factors are contributing to this correction. Not only are local interest rates having an impact but the inflationary effects of increased labour costs and ongoing supply chain difficulties have seen machinery prices rise significantly and history tells us that these can take some time to unwind, if at all.

Whilst machinery dealership yards are boasting plenty of stock, we continue to experience frustration with the processing of machines through Australian wharfs. All attempts to have priority applied to machinery that might be “time sensitive” are met with the answer that the system is overloaded and can only manage on a first come first in basis. This means that Ag machinery must take its place alongside such things as passenger vehicles when it comes to being released from quarantine and if delays are experienced, the impact can be significant.

Looking around the nation, all states have experienced significant drops again in the month, beginning with Queensland, down 48% against the same month last year to be 27% behind year to date. NSW was down 40% to be 26% off YTD, Victoria was off 37% and is now 28% behind year to date.  Sales in Western Australia were down 29% and remains 19% behind last year. South Australia was the only bright point, recording a rise of 40% against the same month last year and now sits 16% behind YTD, Tasmania was off 20% for the month, 21% down YTD with sales in the NT finishing 69% down, remaining 19% down YTD.

Falls were experienced in all machine categories except for the 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range which was up 40% on the same month last year but remains 16% behind last year. The small under 40 hp (30kw) category was down by 48% for the month and is now 27% behind year to date. The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was also down 48% and is now 27% behind year to date, the 100 to 200hp (75-150 kw) category was down, this time by 27% and remains 25% behind YTD.

Sales of Combine Harvesters have all but come to an end for the year with 125 units sold in November taking the year end figure  to just over 900. Baler sales have also tapered and are now 3.5% ahead on a year-to-date basis and sales of Out – Front Mowers are down by around 9% compared with the same time last year.