New tractor sales soar towards the 13,000 mark

Rush to buy tractors continues with a record November

Machinery
TRACTOR SALES BOOM: The Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia now expects national tractor sales will pass the 13,000 mark this year.

TRACTOR SALES BOOM: The Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia now expects national tractor sales will pass the 13,000 mark this year.

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New tractors continue to roar out of dealers yards, pushed along by this season's record winter grain harvest.

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New tractors sales in Australia are poised to soar well past the 13,000 mark this year after another record-breaking November.

The Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia reports tractor sales in November were 38 per cent above the same month last year and are now up 23pc year-to-date.

TMA executive director Gary Northover said optimism in agriculture was now "extremely buoyant" with a bumper national winter grain harvest in progress supported by the instant asset write-off tax scheme which had now been extended to June 2022.

"(Tractor buying) activity in the month was strong in most states with NSW again the standout, up 84pc on the same month last year and is now sitting 37pc ahead for the year," Mr Northover said.

"Victoria reported a solid lift, up 13pc in the month and remains 23pc ahead year-to-date while Queensland was up 55pc to be 16pc higher for the year.

"The monthly picture in all states is tending to fluctuate a little more than usual as dealers try to cope with social distancing challenges, stock supply challenges and the very hectic nature of the market."

Western Australia tractor sales picked up 54pc in November and are now in line with last year while sales in South Australia dipped for the first month for some time but are still 30pc higher year-to-date.

Meanwhile, Tasmania's sales remain strong and are now 27pc ahead for the year.

SALES KEEP GOING NORTH: TMA executive director Gary Northover says 2020 has been a stunning year for new tractor sales.

SALES KEEP GOING NORTH: TMA executive director Gary Northover says 2020 has been a stunning year for new tractor sales.

"The increase in sales numbers is again due almost entirely to the ongoing strength in the smaller end of the tractor market supported by the instant asset write-off scheme," Mr Northover said.

"The under 40 horsepower (30 kilowatt) range was up 67pc for the month and now sits 32pc ahead for the year-to-date.

"The 40 to 100hp (30-75kW) range was again up strongly by 76pc (in November) and is now 28pc ahead for the year.

"The 100 to 200hp (75-150kW) category was steady and is still up 26pc for the year-to-date while sales in the large 200hp (150kW) plus range dipped again leaving this category 8pc behind year-to-date.

"The 200hp plus category has not enjoyed the same level of sales boost as the smaller ranges however, off the back of this year's outstanding harvest, there is considerable optimism that demand for big tractors will improve.

"Sales of combine harvesters are experiencing a late-year flourish, helped along by one of the best harvests in recent memory, and are now 28pc ahead of last year.

"Baler sales have continued their boom run, up 55pc for the month and remain 35pc higher year-to-date.

"Sales of out-front mowers are flying and are now 30pc ahead of the same time last year."

Mr Northover said 2020 had been a standout year for farm machinery sales.

"Along with the outstanding weather conditions and the federal government's instant asset write-off scheme, the issue of stock supply has been a key focus of recent months.

"There is hope that the worst may not happen here and that factories are adjusting to their new normal.

"Where early predictions were of a 12-16 week delay on deliveries, some suppliers are seeing this improve with a figure of 4-8 weeks delay anticipated.

"Manufacturers are having to deal with not only the impacts of COVID-19 on their workforce but also the impact on component manufacturers, an increasing steel price and an increasing shipping cost, all of which will undoubtedly impact on machine prices at some stage," he said.

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