July has seen a significant fall in tractor sales across the nation, evidence that some sales were brought forward in June to take advantage of the Temporary Full Expensing Program.
Normally a quiet month, there were only around 750 tractors delivered in July which was around 250 units or 36% fewer than the same month last year. This now means that the year-to-date figure is 18% behind the same period last year.
Sales around the nation were well down across the board with Victoria off 32% on the same month last year to be 25% behind year to date. Queensland was down 38% and is now 14% behind year to date, NSW was down 35% to be 19% off YTD. Sales in Western Australia reported a drop of 49% and remains 18% behind last year. South Australia recorded a 22% decline and now sits 8% behind YTD and Tasmania was off 58% for the month, 25% down YTD with sales in the NT finishing 9% down remaining 9% down YTD.
Looking at the machine categories, we find that the small under 40 hp (30kw) category, the category most likely to be affected by interest rates, was down by 45% for the month and is now 20% behind year to date. The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was also down 34% and is now 19% behind year to date, the 100 to 200hp (75-150 kw) category was down, this time by 27% and remains 21% behind YTD and finally the 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range slipped, down 44% remaining 10% behind last year.
Sales of Combine Harvesters continue to gather pace with more than 350 units delivered in the year so far. This puts us well ahead of the same time last year, up 75% in fact and expectations are for an outstanding year ahead. Baler sales enjoyed a small rise and are now 12% ahead on a year-to-date basis and sales of Out – Front Mowers enjoyed another strong month, up 45% on the same time last year.
The machinery sales industry is experiencing some significant headwinds at present. Machinery prices are high and look to be remaining so, recent interest rate rises are impacting the cost of finance and the expectations of a drier summer have caused some farmers to reconsider their machinery purchases. Despite this, we remain optimistic that we will see more of a “soft” landing as conditions continue to normalise after what has been an amazing two-year period.
Finally, the annual TMA conference has now been held in Sydney and was a tremendous success with all sponsorships and tickets sold out. The day saw an exciting range of speakers but undoubtedly, those in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunity the event provided. The TMA Conference is the must attend event for all manufactures, dealers and suppliers to the industry and we look forward to a bigger and better event again next year.