Handbrake on tractor sales

Tractor Machinery Association October sales results

Machinery
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The Tractor and Machinery Association reports on the industries October sales figures

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Drought in eastern states remains a handbrake on national agricultural machinery sales and with only two months until end of year it seems unlikely the market will top last year's poor result, let alone the longer term average.

Tractor and Machinery Association executive director Gary Northover said October sales of agricultural tractors were back 9 per cent for the month and year to date figures remain 11pc behind last year.

"With two full months of the 2019 year to go, the industry should report total sales of around 11,000 tractors," he said.

"Whilst down on the past five years of 12,000 plus sales, it still represents a healthy market place.

"The unknown in all of this is the margin being achieved, which in recent times has been severely challenged."

Mr Northover said the only size category unaffected was the under 30 kilowatt (40 horsepower) leisure market and Victoria was the only state with a significant upswing.

"The Victorian market recorded an 11pc rise for the month, now sitting 3pc behind last year," he said.

"Strong activity in the dairy sector along with a very healthy degree of optimism amongst wine growers is felt to be behind this rise."

Mr Northover said the drought-based decline has continued across NSW and Queensland.

"It continues to be NSW suffering the greatest declines with a further 21pc drop in October, now 20pc behind last year. Queensland slipped 14pc in the month and is now 7pc behind for the year," he said.

"There have been pockets of strong sales activity in the coastal regions of these states but this has not been enough to offset the drought affected inland markets"

Mr Northover said South Australian sales had gone from bad to worse with a massive 30pc drop in October, leaving the state 27pc behind last year, while minor markets were a mixed bag.

"Tasmanian sales continue to be strong, now 5pc ahead year to date and sales in the NT dropped for the month now 7pc behind last year," he said.

2018 saw strong sales from Western Australia bolster the national market and Mr Northover said this years sales remain similar, despite a quiet October.

"WA was back 14pc for the month, but still ahead 4pc on year to date," he said.

Mr Northover said the biggest monthly hit was in the larger engine sizes, with sales in the 150kW (200hp) and above range down 25pc, landing the segment 5pc behind last years poor result.

"The 75-150kw (100-200hp) segment also suffered a big drop down 8pc for the month remaining 12pc behind last year," he said.

Mr Northover said header sales continued to struggle due to drought, with sales well back on previews years.

"Markets such as the north and north-west regions of NSW have essentially come to a stop through this drought period," he said.

Mr Northover said balers and hay equipment remained the one bright spot in the report.

"Demand for hay remains strong and as such baler sales continue to enjoy a bumper year," he said.

"October sales were up another 11pc on last year and are now 26pc ahead on a year to date basis"

The story Handbrake on tractor sales first appeared on Farm Online.

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