Tractor sales dry streak continues

By: Gary Northover - Executive Director TMA

Presented by

Baler sales soar as drought effects hit February tractor sales, according to the Tractor & Machinery Association of Australia (TMA)

Tractor sales dry streak continues
Baler sales are up 25 per cent on last year in an otherwise negative time for tractor sales. Image courtesy Getty Images



February has seen another sharp drop in sales of agricultural equipment across the nation as the drought in the eastern states continues to impact industry confidence.

Reported sales of tractors were 14 per cent lower in February 2019 than they were in February last year, now sitting about 6 per cent below where they were on a rolling 12-month basis.

Sales were particularly hard hit in New South Wales and Victoria, down 22 per cent and 8 per cent respectively, but the news is not much better in the other states.

Western Australian sales are now down 6 per cent on what was a great year last year, in South Australia they are down a whopping 30 per cent and Tasmanian sales are down around 12 per cent although a bright February was had there.

Queensland sales were up 4 per cent for the month and are now down only 3 per cent on last year.

We’ve all been praying for rain and the heavens delivered in Queensland, the effects of which will be seen in the months ahead.

All four reported categories were crunched in February, with the under-40 horsepower range down 8 per cent as the level of discretionary spending in the leisure market dries up.

The 40 hp to 100hp segment is now down 12 per cent on last year and both larger ranges – the 100- 200hp and 200hp and over range – are off a further 15-17 per cent.

Combine harvester sales also continue to struggle with advice from many dealers that the forward ordering of new machines has been less than promising.

Good stock levels remain available around the country so if demand improves, dealers will be ready to deal.

Balers are flying out the door after a great start in January - and another great February sees baler sales up around 25 per cent on last year.

Finally, sales of out front mowers were steady for the month but are still around 16 per cent down on a yearly basis.

Elsewhere, the TMA has been engaged in a number of industry practice initiatives, including joining a Farm Safety working party set up by WorkSafe Victoria.

The statistics in Victoria alone where Farming accounts for a mere 3 per cent of the workforce but almost 30 per cent of work related fatalities highlights just how urgent action is needed and the TMA continues to play its part in seeking practices to enhance the safety of all.

The TMA is also hopeful that a gazette released by VicRoads in November 2017 for the transportation of oversized equipment, on which both TMA and the Victorian Farmers’ Federation consulted, will be adopted as a standard this year by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

The Industry has been crying out for harmonisation on this issue and it will be pleasing to see this finally come to fruition.

Finally, planning is well underway for the annual TMA Conference, focusing on better understanding tomorrow’s customer.

To be held at Hyatt Place Melbourne at Essendon Fields on July 16, the event is a must for all manufacturers, dealers and suppliers to industry and promises to be a highlight of the year.

Ticketing and Sponsorship details will be released soon and can be found on the TMA website

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