While last year was a strong year for round-baler sales, this year has seen a dramatic 34.5 per cent decline. According to industry experts, there’s a number of factors at play to explain the decline.
Last year saw the highest sales of round-balers since 2008. Alan Kirsten from Agriview says it was only natural that 2017 would see a downturn following such a strong year. Alan also notes that demand for round-balers has been increasing since 2011, so it’s not unexpected to see demand start to ease off.
“Based on there being lots of hay around from the 2016 record volume of planned production, I know that a lot of people have grown less hay this year,” says Lars Pasedag, Senior Product Manager of Kubota.
Bruno Fetiveau, Managing Director of Kuhn, sees the same pattern, “There’s not as much to harvest and there’s hay in the sheds already from last year.”
Delayed markets and unpredictable weather
“This year’s season is slightly delayed also for the round-baler market as a lot of the dairy market has started late. That means we will probably see more installations later in the year, so that the round-baler sales hopefully do not stay at the 34.5 per cent reduction,” says Lars.
This optimism runs throughout the industry.
“Look at New South Wales and Queensland,” says Bruno, “there have been more sales there due to recent rain.”
Having said that, Alan from Agriview agrees that there could be some late buying, but does add that this year’s sales are “down some way”, especially considering that October is traditionally the strongest month.
“It’s been a funny year,” says Alan. “We are coming off a peak season overall, but the season has been clearly unfavourable. In 2016, the seasons were magnificent – everywhere you went these paddocks were filled with bales.”