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May 8, 2023

Tractor Sales returning to average levels following another drop in April

Sales of Agricultural tractors have recorded another decline in April, this time off 31% compared to the same time last year. There appears to be little doubt that the combined impact of higher interest rates, stock availability, machinery price rises along with a general drop in demand is seeing sales return to what might be regarded as “normal” levels.

On a Year-to-date basis we have now seen around 4,500 tractors sold which translates to an annual figure of around 13,500 units compared with figures around the 18,000 unit mark for the past two (2) years. In dollar terms, the number is considerably different, down only 3.2% on the same time last year, a reflection of the mix of sales occurring in the market.

The outlook for the remainder of the year is likely to see a continuation of this tapering and, whilst we may see a bump towards June as the Temporary Full Expensing program comes to an end, a full year’s sales figure of around the 12,000 to 13,000 unit mark is expected.

Sales around the nation were down with Victoria off a whopping 49% on the same month last year to be 33% behind year to date. Queensland was down 23% and is now 15% behind year to date, NSW was down 26% to be 25% off YTD.  Sales in Western Australia reported a drop of 27% despite another strong sales of high hp tractors but remains 15% behind last year. South Australia recorded a big 15% drop and now sits 11% behind YTD and Tasmania was off 22% for the month, 17% off YTD with sales in the NT finishing 10% down but remains 23% up YTD.

Looking at the machine categories, we find that the 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range jumped again this month, this time up 14% but remains 17% behind last year. The small under 40 hp (30kw) category, the category most likely to be affected by interest rates, was down by 51% for the month and is now 17% behind year to date. The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was also well down, 29% in the month and is now 22% behind year to date, the 100 to 200hp (75-150 kw) category was down, this time by 37% and remains 28% behind YTD.

Sales of Combine Harvesters have virtually now come to an end for this time of the year however, dealers are reporting a healthy forward order intake which augers well for another strong season. Baler sales enjoyed a jump in April, up 40% on the same time last year and are now up 5% on last year whilst and sales of Out – Front Mowers continued their downward trend, off by 6% for the month.

Just a reminder, the annual TMA conference is being held this year in Sydney on Wednesday July 19th at the Stamford Plaza, Sydney Airport. Ticketing and event information will be available on our website in the coming weeks as we look forward to another great event.