Challenging tractor sale conditions in May

By: Gary Northover

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Total tractor sales are 12 per cent behind where they were at the end of May last year, according to the latest data from the Transport and Machinery Association of Australia

Challenging tractor sale conditions in May
The impacts of drought conditions are still being felt by tractor sellers. Image courtesy Alamy


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We continue to see challenging conditions in the market for tractors across the nation as the drought in the Eastern States enters its second year. Overall, May sales were down 13 per cent, compared to May 2018, and remain 12.5 per cent behind last year.

The table below shows the performance of the various size ranges and while the large end of the scale looks impressive, we shouldn’t get too excited as we attribute this to timing delays in deliveries from last month.

Tractor sales demand
Horsepower May 2018 Year to date
<40 -16.4% -11.7%
40-100 -20.2% -14.2%
100-200 -21.7% -17.3%
>200 44% -1%

Having said that, there is no doubt that the full year performance for the 200 plus range is strong due largely to another strong season in Western Australia as can be seen below.

Around the States
  May 2018 Year to date
NSW -24% -23.4%
Vic -12% -7.9%
Queensland -7.2% -11.7%
Tasmania 10.3% 10.5%
South Australia -15% -23.8%
Northern Territory -57.1% 15.8%
Western Australia 9.7% 9.6%


The outlook for tractor sales remains fairly conservative and we predict an annual volume of around 10,500 tractors for the foreseeable future, down from the 12,000+ levels of recent years.

Combine harvester sales remain flat and are also in for a pretty tough time with estimates in the range of 550 units to occur. This is down from the mid 800’s level of the past few years.

Baler sales continue to be very strong, up another 25 per cent for the month and now a whopping 88 per cent up YTD and sales of Out Front Mowers had another reasonable month, up another 7 per cent for the month.

Finally, don’t forget the annual TMA Conference. This year’s event will be held on Tuesday July 16th at Hyatt Place Melbourne at Essendon Fields and will present a focus on better understanding the customer of tomorrow.

This event is a must for all manufacturers, dealers and suppliers to industry and promises to be a highlight of the year. Tickets are now available and can be found on the TMA website

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