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September 25, 2017

Tractor Sales heading for another record year

August has been another particularly strong month for Sales of Agricultural Equipment across Australia continuing the trend of record volumes for the past few months. Sales for the month were up a whopping 12.7% on what was a strong July and now sit 10.6% up on a year to date basis. In Dollar terms, we are seeing another very strong result with sales tracking beyond the $1.2 billion mark for the year.

Demand for tractors in all size ranges is strong right across the country with a recent down patch in WA and SA being reversed with strong sales, WA up 17.4% for the month and now less than 10% down on last year. SA had a particularly strong month, up 30% and now placed 10% up on the same time last year.

Sales in Queensland were steady for the month and sit 12% up on last year. Victorian sales where again very strong, led by the under 40 horsepower category up 13% on last month and now 26% up on last year.

NSW had a particularly strong month, 19% up for the month and now 4% up on last year whilst activity in Tasmania has been very healthy, sitting nearly 30% up on last year and finally sales in the NT are positioned up 18% on last year.

The strength of the under 40hp or “leisure” market continues to be the stand out for tractor sales with an increase of 26% on last month and now 16% up on last year. Clearly, the markets appetite for this range of product has pleased many in the industry and is a clear representation of the high levels of confidence being felt by this market segment across the nation.

The larger end of the market too remains quite strong with deliveries once again beating the previous month. Sales in the 100 to 200hp range increased yet again and are now up 13% on last year and the larger range above 200hp sits about 8% ahead. The distribution of sales continues to reflect the move towards larger capacity tractors and with extensive competition in the market, buyers are capitalising on the opportunity to upgrade.

There are some early signs that Combine Harvester sales may not meet expected levels this year with some challenges being forecast for this year’s harvest.

As we reported last month, Harvester sales tend to occur on the basis of around 50% committed at the end of each harvest and around 50% purchased from stock units that manufacturers import in anticipation of further sales. Sales of these stock units appear to be down on initial expectations so we will see a lower volume sold by years end.

This of course augers well for cashed up buyers who are able to take advantage of the ready availability of stock.

Baler sales continue to slow, once again off last year’s very high numbers due in part to the variable weather conditions and finally, sales of out front mowers, linked to the “leisure” market, dipped this month but remain ahead of last year’s numbers.

Gary Northover
Executive Director TMA