Demand for new tractors remained strong in July after a record June when sales burst through the 2000 unit barrier, the best monthly result in 20 years.
The Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia's executive director Gary Northover said the federal government's instant asset write-off scheme was continuing to drive sales along with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in most states.
A major concern was the Stage 4 coronavirus lockdowns Victoria, a key machinery supplier.
"While agricultural suppliers will continue operating (in Victoria), these restrictions will inevitably affect the way work is done," Mr Northover said.
"With lockdowns relating to the COVID19 pandemic easing in most states, there is a sense of getting back to work among tractor buyers."
National tractor sales in July were up 24 per cent on the same month last year and are now 21pc ahead of the same period in 2019.
More widespread rain in NSW lifted sales by a whopping 60pc on July last year and are now up 26pc for the year-to-date.
Victoria had another strong month, up 34pc which helped lift sales 30pc ahead of the same time last year.
Queensland experienced its first sales dip in months, down 7pc but still 14pc ahead for the year.
Western Australia picked up another 5pc and is now 3pc behind last year while South Australia continued to rally with sales now up 32pc year-to-date.
Tractor sales remained strong in Tasmania, up 17pc for the month and 24pc for the year-to-date.
Mr Northover said the buoyant sales result was due almost entirely to ongoing strength in the smaller end of the tractor market.
The under 40 horsepower (30kw) range was up 48pc for the month and now sits 20pc ahead of the same period last year, he said.
The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range rose 29pc in July and was now 21pc ahead of this time last year.
The 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category was up 6pc, pushing sales 36pc higher than the same period last year.
"The strength in the horticultural space is having a big impact on demand for this range strongly supported by the financial incentives in place," Mr Northover said.
"Sales in the large 200hp (150kw) plus range were again down another 7pc leaving this category 7pc behind year-to-date."
Mr Northover said demand for large tractors was being impacted by a range of factors including persistent drought in key cropping regions in northern NSW and southern Queensland, the ongoing challenges being felt in some key markets serviced by these big machine (eg, cotton) and a sense that reduced utilisation levels in the past few years didn't yet warrant large-scale fleet replacements.
"As reported last month, the industry's ability to continue to deliver strong sales will be determined by the supply of product from international manufacturers and early signs are that the demands of the market are largely being met," Mr Northover said.
"With regards to other products, sales of combine harvesters have now slowed with most products now in place for the upcoming harvest season. The full-year picture is likely to be around 15pc-20pc down on last year.
"Baler sales continue to boom and are up 33pc year-to-date while sales of out-front mowers were again healthy and remain 14pc ahead of the same time last year."
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic uncertainty is hurting new vehicle sales.
Nationally, 72,505 new vehicles were sold during July, a 12.8pc drop on the same month last year.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) CEO Tony Weber said so far this year 514,920 new vehicles had been sold, a 19.2pc slump on the same period in 2019.
Segmentation of the market continued to demonstrate a consumer preference for sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) which represented 70.9pc of the total market, he said.
SUVs claimed 50.4pc of the market with 36,560 sales and LCVs grabbed a 20.5pc share with 14,898 sales.
The top selling vehicle for July was the Toyota RAV 4 with 4309 sales followed by the Ford Ranger (3104 sales), Toyota Hi-Lux (2947 sales), Toyota Corolla (2192 sales) and the Hyundai i30 (1745 sales).
(The TMA/Agriview State of the Industry report for 2019 is now available for purchase on the TMA's website. Go to www.tma.asn.au for full details.)
The story New tractor sales keeping humming along after record June first appeared on Farm Online.