While end of financial year sales hold some hope for machinery dealers, continuing drought in eastern states points to a continued sales slump for agricultural machinery.
Tractor and Machinery Association executive director Gary Northover said while strong Western Australian sales figures had bolstered the national totals, continued drought conditions, particularly in NSW had affected sales.
"Overall, sales were down 13pc for the month and remain 12.5pc behind last year," he said.
Across size classes, the leisure market, less than 30 kilowatts (40 horsepower) was back 16pc for May, while the 30 to 75kW (40 to 100hp) dropped 20pc and the 75 to 150kW (100 to 200hp) range lost 21pc.
However Mr Northover said the broadacre range of tractors greater than 150kW (200hp) in power actually regained ground, up 44pc on May last year and holding at only 1pc back in last years sales.
"There is no doubt that the full year performance for the 200 plus range is strong due largely to another strong season in Western Australia," he said.
The TMA reported total Western Australian tractor sales were up 10pc both for the month and for year to date comparison, Tasmania also remained positive at 10pc for both measures, however as a small market it had a limited effect on national totals.
Queensland lost 7pc for the month, bringing year to date sales to 12pc behind last year and New South Wales was back 24pc for May and 23pc behind on year to date sales.
South Australia saw a significant 15pc drop in monthly sales, and at 24pc behind year to date, while Victoria dropped 12pc for the month, with year to date back 8pc.
The small and volatile Northern Territory market was back 54pc for May but is holding at 16pc up on year to date.
Mr Northover said overall the outlook for tractor sales remains fairly conservative and the TMA predicted an annual volume of around 10,500 tractors for the foreseeable future, down from the upwards of 12,000 units of recent years.
"Combine Harvester sales remain flat and are also in for a pretty tough time with estimates in the range of 550 units to occur, this is down from the mid 800 unit level of the past few years."
Mr Northover said baler sales remained very strong, up 25pc for the month and a whopping 88pc up on year to date.
Mr Northover said the annual TMA conference, to be held on Tuesday July 16 at Hyatt Place Melbourne at Essendon Fields was a must attend for dealers, manufacturers and suppliers.
"This year's theme is Know Your Customer, and it will present a focus on better understanding the customers of tomorrow," he said.
"The speakers will include Matt Pryor from AgThentic, who will talk about some of the challenges in taking up new technology.
"Australian Community Media will talk about customers media consumption and how it has changed.
"We will also hear about the demographics of the industry, dispelling some myths about age and size of farm and a specialist on relationship selling."
Mr Northover said tickets were available now and could be found on the TMA website.