2017 began with the mystical 12,000 tractor sales figure firmly in everyone’s mind, reflecting what had been an outstanding 2016.
Following what can only be described as a bumper month for smaller tractors, that number has now been surpassed and 2017 looks set to be another record year.
Overall, tractor sales were up 7.4 % in terms of unit numbers (4.1% in $ terms) and are now 8% up on the same time last year in both unit and $ terms.
Sales of under 40 hp tractors were up 22% on the previous month, 9% up on last year and the 40 – 100 hp range was up 7.6% on last month 6 % year to date.Despite this, we remain on track to match last year’s record sales result for tractors. Seasonal factors are considered to be behind this lift in smaller tractor sales to address the grass growing that occurs across the nation
Sales of larger tractors were down slightly, the 100-200hp range in line with last month and still 10% up on the previous month. The 200hp and above range was down 6% on last month although we are expecting to see a bit of a rush of larger deliveries in December to bring these ranges along further.
Regionally, Queensland stood out this month with sales 26% up on last month and now 11% up on last year, this despite it being an election month for the Sunshine State!
NSW and Victoria were both up 3% on last month and WA reported a 10% decline.
Elsewhere, South Australia reported a major turnaround, up 30% on last month (up 7% ytd). Tasmania were down but still up 22% on last year..
Sales of Combine Harvester sales were down a little in November but are slightly up on last year, despite many of the widely reported challenges associated with this year’s harvest.
Harvester Sales are strongly impacted by a number of factors but what is becoming more apparent each year is the influence of the fleet management approach being taken by farmers. Because finance has consistently been at the currently attractive levels, purchasers have been able to exercise planned replacement of assets with a longer term view being taken. This has contributed greatly to the sales figures being at or about their last 5 year average.
Baler sales have remained slow due mainly to the abundance of sales made in 2016. Most will recall the sight of numerous hay bales in paddocks across the country last year and this supply of hay has yet to be depleted, all of which has resulted in a quieter year for balers down 17% on the same month last year.
Finally, as a result of another strong grass growing season sales of out front mowers, have “bounced” and remain in line with last year’s numbers.