DESPITE record heat and a delayed autumn break, March saw another growth month for tractor sales.
Tractor and Machinery Association, executive director, Garry Northover said Australian sales have not been impacted by global unrest.
“Any nervousness being felt as a result of potential trade wars or stock market gyrations have, thus far, been shrugged off by the industry as it continues to power ahead,” he said.
Mr Northover said year to date tractor sales are 9 per cent ahead of last year, while March itself was up a whopping 16 per cent.
“In previous months we have been reporting that the charge has been led by a particular category” he said.
“In March each of our four reporting groups delivered strong sales.”
Mr Northover said the under 30 kilowatt (40 horsepower) segment had jumped 8 per cent on last years March results and is now only down 3 per cent on last year.
“This segment contains a high level of recreation and leisure machines,” he said.
“It can be susceptible to economic uncertainty as discretionary spending dries up.
“So far, we have not seen this happen.”
Mr Northover said the 30 to 75 kW (40 to 100 hp) segment is performing strongly, but it is the 75 to 150 kW (100 to 200 hp) segment that delivered the biggest increase, up 34 per cent for the month and 28 per cent for the year.
“Given this product range experienced a stellar 2017, it is clear farmers are generally appreciating the productivity improvements and keen buying opportunities associated with this range,” he said.
Sales of high power tractors, above 150 kW (200 hp), remained strong, up another 3 per cent and in-line with last years performance, said Mr Northover.
State of play
Across the states movement was consistently high, excepting the Northern Territory. Queensland performed the strongest with a 34 per cent jump on March last year, while NSW and Victoria enjoyed an 11 per cent rise.
“South Australia and West Australia both had strong months picking up from a sluggish start to the year whilst Tasmania was steady,” Mr Northover said.
“Not surprisingly, sales of Harvesters are yet to get going.
“Dealers are generally predicting a slower year this year as the impact of a lower 2017 crop combined with some new models slowly hitting the market are likely to impact.
Mr Northover said baler sales recorded a solid jump and are now 30 per cent up on what he considered a cyclical low in 2017.
“Looking ahead, expectations are once again high for another strong year in the agricultural equipment market, although, not without its challenges,” he said.
“The lift in demand in the US and Europe for agricultural product is now in full swing so local supply challenges can be expected.”
Mr Northover said the Tractor and Machinery Association will be holding their annual conference in Sydney on the 17th of July.
“This year’s theme is ‘Thriving in the Face of Disruption’, “ he said.
“It will bring together a range of speakers designed to challenge and educate and is sure to be a popular event.
“Tickets go on sale soon.”
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