Rest easy, farm machinery pipeline recovers from coronavirus

Farm machinery hits the water as factories reopen after COVID-19 crisis

Machinery
BOOMING SALES: Tractors have been selling like hot cakes because of rain and government instant tax write-offs.

BOOMING SALES: Tractors have been selling like hot cakes because of rain and government instant tax write-offs.

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Major machinery companies report their overseas supply chains are recovering from disruptions caused by COVID-19.

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Imports of new tractors and farm machinery into Australia are flowing again as major overseas manufacturers recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Local dealers have been enjoying strong demand, particularly for tractors and baling equipment, as farmers have rushed to update machinery on the back of good rains and the Federal Government's instant asset write-off up to $150,000 .

New Holland national product manager Tony Peters said dealers were holding good stocks but inventories could get tight in July and August.

He said tractor sales had gone "ballistic" while the company would also likely sell out of big rectangular balers by the end of the year.

While a lot of machinery was now on the water, delivery from European factories (a key source of tractors, balers and headers) took six to seven weeks by sea.

Shipments of seasonal gear such as balers and combine harvesters were likely to be running a week or two behind the normal schedule.

Sales of balers had been strong and Mr Peters said he expected interest in headers would increase.

Pete McCann, general manager of Case IH Australia and New Zealand, said the company's factories had re-opened and production of machinery had been fully restored.

IN DEMAND: Major farm machinery companies expect baling equipment to be in keen demand for the rest of this year.

IN DEMAND: Major farm machinery companies expect baling equipment to be in keen demand for the rest of this year.

"We were fortunate to have machinery in the country before restrictions were imposed and have been constantly reviewing the situation in order to meet the needs of customers and keep their businesses ticking over," he said.

"In terms of customer demand for particular products, hay is predicted to be a popular commodity again this year so we've ensured the likes of balers will be in stock and ready to go when they're needed."

John Deere Australia and New Zealand supply chain manager Mark Mauceri said the shipment disruptions in recent months caused by coronavirus were started to ease.

"There are a number of positive signs starting this month that indicate the network is returning to normal," he said.

"Shipping schedules are returning to pre-COVID-19 regularity and air freight to recovering in line with additional flights being added."

UPGRADE TIME: After years of drought many farmers have been given rain relief and hopes of a big winter grain harvest and top spring.

UPGRADE TIME: After years of drought many farmers have been given rain relief and hopes of a big winter grain harvest and top spring.

Kubota Australia national sales manager Peter Gloury said delays at Australian wharves rather than slowness of delivery of products from overseas factories had added two to three weeks to the company's supply chain.

"Handling has become more complex on arrival as our wharves adhere to strict biosecurity and health protocols in the face of the pandemic," he said.

"Kubota has a diverse and dependable supply chain with parts and machinery sourced from a number of countries including Japan, Germany, France, Indonesia, Italy and Holland.

"Some European products have been slightly slower to arrive but overall the pipeline has remained open and machinery has been easy to get a hold of.

"There is strong demand thanks to the good seasonal conditions and the Federal Government's instant asset write off.

"There will be a slight availability delay for some products at the end of the financial year but overall, our supply chain has performed exceptionally in unprecedented circumstances," he said.

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