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March 13, 2019

Tractor Sales plunge further as drought continues

February has seen another sharp drop in sales of Agricultural Equipment across the nation as the drought in the Eastern States continue to impact industry confidence.

Reported Sales were 14% lower than the same month last year and now sit around 6% below on a Rolling Twelve months basis.

New South Wales and Victorian sales in particular have been hardest hit down 22% and 8% respectively. The news is not much better in the other states, Western Australia now down 6% on what was a great year last year, South Australia down a whopping 30% and Tasmania down around 12% although a bright February was had there.

Queensland sales were up 4% for the month and are now down only 3% on last year. We’ve all been praying for rain and the heavens delivered in Queensland, the effects of which will be seen in the months ahead.

All four (4) reported categories were crunched in February, the under 40 hp range down 8% as the level of discretionary spending in the leisure market dries up. The 40hp to 100hp segment is now down 12% on last year and both larger ranges 100hp to 20hp and 200hp and over off a further 15%-17%.

Combine Harvester Sales continue to struggle with advice from many dealers that the forward ordering of new machines has been less than promising. Good stock levels remain available around the country so if demand improves, dealers will be ready to deal.

Baler sales are flying out the door after a great start in January another great February sees Balers around 25% up on last year.

Finally, sales of Out Front Mowers were steady for the month but are still around 16% down on a yearly basis.

Elsewhere, the TMA has been engaged in a number of initiatives surrounding Industry Practice. In November 2017 VicRoads released a revised Gazette for the transportation of oversized equipment following extensive consultation with the VFF and TMA. This Gazette is in the process of being adopted by the NHVR as the National Standard and we are hopeful that this might occur during 2019. The Industry has been crying out for harmonisation on this issue and it will be pleasing to see this finally come to fruition.

The ongoing subject of Farm Safety continues to be a priority for all in the industry and the TMA has recently joined a working party set up by WorkSafe Victoria to seek improvements. The statistics in Victoria alone where Farming accounts for a mere 3% of the workforce but almost 30% of work related fatalities highlights just how urgent action is needed and the TMA continues to play its part in seeking practices to enhance the safety of all.

TMA Conference 16/07/19:  Planning is well underway for the Annual TMA Conference. This year’s event will be held on Tuesday July 16th at Hyatt Place Melbourne, Essendon Fields and will present a focus on better understanding the customer of tomorrow. This event is a must for all manufacturers, dealers and suppliers to industry and promises to be a highlight of the year. Ticketing and Sponsorship details will be released soon and can be found on the TMA website

Gary Northover, Executive Director, TMA