Tractor sales surge but COVID cloud looms

Tractor sales surge but COVID cloud looms

Machinery
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Machinery dealers are warning the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to hit the sector.

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This year might be shaping up to be the best for tractor sales since the 1980s but Australia's national machinery body is warning the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to reach the sector.

The Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia (TMAA) has just released its October numbers, confirming sales for the month were up 25 per cent on October last year and are now up 22pc year to date.

This result sees the full year on track to exceed the 13,000-unit mark for the first time since the 1980's.

But while the TMAA noted "considerable buoyancy" remained in the market, the machinery sector is starting to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on factories and shipping across the globe.

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"Most dealers are not yet reporting lost business, but many are having to keep a sale by offering an alternative," the October report said.

"This situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future as, not only is factory output down due to social distancing requirements, the number of cargo ships in operation is also down further exacerbating the problem.

"We estimate that this has added around 12 -16 weeks to most deliveries. In addition, the supply of parts remains challenging and suppliers are being hit with additional freight charges to get parts into their systems.

"So, whilst the current La Nina weather pattern being experienced across much of Australia, combined with historically low interest rates are positives, the picture for supply is challenging and is expected to remain so for some time to come."

October sale results 

While sales activity was strong across all states, NSW was again the standout up a whopping 70pc on the same time last year and now sitting 34pc ahead for the year.

Victoria reported a steady month and remains 24pc ahead year to date meanwhile Queensland was up 12pc to be 13pc up for the year.

Western Australia sales picked up 5pc on and remains 3pc behind last year.

Sales in South Australia continue to fly now 36pc up year to date and activity in Tasmania remains strong, now 28pc ahead for the year.

TMAA attributed the increase in sales numbers almost entirely to the ongoing strength in the smaller end of the market supported by the instant asset write off scheme.

The under 40hp (30kw) range was up 33pc for the month and now sits 29pc ahead for the year to date.

The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was again up strongly 41pc now 24pc ahead for the year.

The 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category was up 12pc and still up 28pc for the year to date while sales in the large 200 hp (150kw) plus range where steady leaving this category 8pc behind 2019.

Sales of combine harvesters are beginning to improve again and the full year picture is likely to be around 15-20pc up on last year. While not nearing record numbers of 800 plus units, a figure of 650 -700 harvesters is likely.

Baler sales continue their boom, up 21pc for the month, remaining up 31pc year to date while sales of out - front mowers were strong and still 21pc ahead of the same time last year.

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