Bullish balers only bright spot

Tractor and Machinery Association September sales report


Machinery
Tractor and Machinery Association executive director Gary Northover

Tractor and Machinery Association executive director Gary Northover

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Tractor and Machinery Association reports a continued decline in the September sales report

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Sales of tractors and headers remain back on last year and significantly behind on the long-term average.

While some segments rallied in comparison to last September's sales, it needs to be taken into account that September 2018 saw machinery sales plummet as drought in eastern states became more entrenched.

Tractor and Machinery Association executive director Gary Northover said baler sales continue to be the only high point in the current market.

"September sales were up 43 per cent on last year and are now 34pc ahead on a year to date basis," he said.

"Suppliers are reporting that demand for hay is so strong that the use of contractors to cut hay is 'maxed out' forcing many growers to take matters into their own hands and purchase equipment to do the job."

Mr Northover said tractor sales strengthened somewhat in September, rising 3.3pc against the previous September, but still remained around 11pc behind on total year to date sales.

Last year the TMA reported September as the largest national monthly drop of machinery sales in recent memory.

"Whilst confidence remains generally down, and order banks are slim, there has been a reasonable amount of deal making in the market with dealers keen to quit stock at less margin than we're used to seeing," he said.

"The improvement in sales for the month was shared across 3 of the 4 size ranges, sales in the 150 kilowatt (200 horsepower) and above range were the standout, up 20pc for the month and now 2.2pc behind year to date.

"The 75 to 150kW (100 to 200hp) segment also enjoyed a lift, up 4pc for the month but remaining 12pc behind last year.

"The 30-75kw (40 to 100hp) range was the only category not to report a lift for the month, down 3pc now sitting 13pc behind last year and the under 30kW (40hp) range enjoyed a 2.3pc rise in September, now 10pc down on a yearly basis."

Mr Northover said when the figures were compared on a state basis NSW is now 20pc behind last year, Queensland 7pc and Victoria 5pc.

"South Australian sales continue to struggle, down another 39% to be 26% behind last year, anecdotally we believe the market there has been consuming a lot more used equipment than usual," he said.

Mr Northover said header sales continue to fall, down 16pc on a 12 month basis.

"Little to no activity in NSW is being offset to an extent by activity in Victoria, SA and WA," he said.

Mr Northover said there was little optimism for the remainder of 2019.

"With the field day season upon us, we have been able to gauge sentiment in the market a little more closely and the message continues to be one of concern in the medium term with hoped for summer rains appearing unlikely," he said.

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