October dip for equipment sales: TMA

By: Gary Northover

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Forecast 2019 sales of 11,000 tractors Australia-wide still “a healthy market”, Tractor & Machinery Association says

October dip for equipment sales: TMA
Healthy optimism among winegrowers is believed to be behind strong sales of small tractors. Image courtesy National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy Stock Photo.


Following on from a solid September result, October sales for agricultural tractors have suffered another decline, down 9 per cent for month and now 11 per cent behind last year.

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

Check out the TMA's September sales results here

Falls were felt in all size categories other than the under 40 horsepower (30kw) range in all states with the exception of the Victorian market which recorded a 11 per cent rise for the month – and is now sitting 3 per cent behind last year.

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

Across the nation, it continues to be NSW suffering the greatest declines with a further 21 per cent drop in October, now 20 per cent behind last year. Queensland slipped 14 per cent in the month and is now 7 per cent behind for the year.

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

Western Australia had a surprisingly quiet month down 14 per cent but still ahead of last year by around 4 per cent. South Australian sales have gone from bad to worse with a massive 30 per cent drop in October, now a full 27 per cent behind last year. As previously reported, there appears to be a high degree of used equipment activity meeting demand there.

Lastly Tasmanian sales continue to be strong, now 5 per cent ahead year to date (YTD) and sales in the NT dropped for the month now 7 per cent behind last year.

Sales in the 200hp (150kw) and above range were down substantially, 25 per cent behind for the month and now 5 per cent behind YTD. The 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) segment also suffered a big drop down 8 per cent for the month remaining 12 per cent behind last year.

The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was also down 12 per cent now sitting 13 per cent behind last year. The only bright spot was the under 40hp (30kw) range, up 3 per cent in October but remaining 8 per cent behind on a yearly basis.

Combine harvester sales continue to struggle with levels well down on previous years. Markets such as the North and North West regions of NSW have essentially come to a stop through this drought period.

Demand for hay remains strong and as such baler sales continue to enjoy a bumper year. October sales were up another 11 per cent on last year and are now 26 per cent ahead on a YTD basis.

Finally, sales of out front mowers bounced another 7 per cent in the month in response to the grass growing season, now sitting just behind last year on a yearly basis.

The TMA continues to represent the industry on a number of fronts, most notably in the area of farm safety. We have been working with WorkSafe Victoria in particular on a range of issues including quad bike safety, telehandler licencing and general communication and awareness.

Members can follow progress on these matters in our quarterly newsletter and on our website at www.tma.asn.au

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