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August 10, 2020

Small Tractor Sales continue to thrive, Drought continues to bite at big end

Following on from the record June result, the best month in 20 years, the sale of tractors has again been strong in July. With lockdowns relating to the COVID19 pandemic easing in most states, there is a sense of getting back to work amongst tractor buyers. The ongoing impact of the Governments Instant Asset Write Off scheme saw sales rise 24% ahead of July last year and brings the year to date 21% ahead.

Activity across the states was quite varied with the continued recovery in NSW the standout up a whopping 60% on the same time last year and now sitting 26% ahead for the year.

Victoria reported another strong month, up 34% and now 30% ahead year to date meanwhile Queensland experienced its first dip in some months, down 7% but still 14% up for the year.

Western Australia picked up another 5% and now remains 3% behind last year.

Sales in South Australia continue to rally with another strong month now 32% up YTD, Tasmania continues to flourish up 17% for the month and now 24% ahead for the year.

The increase in sales numbers is due almost entirely to the ongoing strength in the smaller end of the market supported by the Instant Asset Write off scheme. The under 40hp (30kw) range was up 48% for the month and now sits 20% ahead for the year to date.

The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was again up strongly 29% now 21% ahead for the year.

The 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category was healthy with the month up 6 %. (36% for the YTD). The strength in the Horticultural space is having a big impact on demand for this range strongly supported by the financial incentives in place.

Sales in the large 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range where again down another 7% leaving this category 7% behind YTD.  Demand for large tractors is being impacted by a range of factors including the persistent drought in regions within Northern NSW and Southern Queensland, the ongoing challenges being felt in some of the key markets serviced by this product eg. Cotton industry and a sense that utilisation levels of the past few years may not have yet warranted large scale fleet replacements.

As reported last month the industries’ ability to continue to deliver strong sales will be determined by the supply of product from international suppliers and early signs are that the demands of the market are largely being met. Further complicating this position is the imposition of Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria which is a key machinery supplier. Whilst Agricultural suppliers will continue operating, these restrictions will inevitably affect the way work is done.

With regards to other products, sales of Combine Harvesters have now slowed with most product now in place for the upcoming harvest season. The full year picture is likely to be around 15%-20% down on last year.

Baler sales continue to boom and are up 33% year to date whilst sales of Out – Front Mowers were again healthy and remain 14% ahead of the same time last year.

The TMA/Agriview State of the Industry report for 2019 is now available for purchase on the TMA’s website. Go to for full details.

Gary Northover, Executive Director, TMA