Australian machinery dealers have come up against the challenge of ongoing stock shortages and managing workforces in light of COVID-19 restrictions.
According to Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia executive director Gary Northover, these ongoing challenges were coupled with occasional "hand grenades" such as the shortage of AdBlue.
"Supply of machines continues to be a challenge as supply chain shortages around the world show no signs of abating," Mr Northover said.
"However, the forecast for 2022 is for another solid year supported by very healthy commodities markets."
Mr Northover said in some respects, the long lead times had been of benefit to the industry in that it had the effect of "smoothing out" the peak in demand.
"The first month has seen the positive trend for tractor sales continue, with January's figure broadly in line with the same month last year," Mr Northover said.
"Given the very frantic nature of the industry at present, dealers continue to deliver to customers at a level not seen for many years.
"Customer demand has been extreme from both a machinery and parts and service perspective in support of this year's harvest."
Mr Northover said tractor sales in NSW were broadly equivalent to last January.
The Northern Territory recorded a strong month, with sales up 22 per cent.
Queensland figures were strong again, up 4pc while Victoria was up 7pc.
Following a frantic harvest season, Mr Northover said sales in Western Australia recorded another drop, this time of 28pc.
Sales in South Australia dropped 11pc, while sales in Tasmania fluctuated to finish down 22pc.
The 150 kilowatt (200 horsepower) plus performance category was down 45pc compared to the same month last year.
"This result is behind the drop in the west where the industry is in somewhat of a slow period following an extremely busy end to 2021, however it may be wise not to read too much into one month's figures," Mr Northover said.
The under 30kw (40hp) category was up 6pc and the 30 to 75kw (40 to 100hp) range was up 6pc for the month. The 75 to 150kw (100 to 200hp) category was up 9pc.
As previously reported, harvester sales finished 2021 about the 1000 unit mark for the first time since 2011.
Mr Northover said the order intake period for 2022 is underway and dealers were expecting another strong year.
Baler sales dipped slightly in January and sales of out-front mowers finished down 26pc on January 2021 figures.
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