Big lift in tractor sales for April

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April tractor sales in Australia boom despite Coronavirus pandemic

April Tractor sales boom
Despite Coronavirus, tractors sales last month were big!
Photo courtesy of Case IH

April has turned into a "blowout" month for tractor sales across most of Australia as the industry, driven by improved weather prospects along with the increase in the federal government’s instant asset write-off threshold to $150,000, continues to avoid the current troubles associated with the COVID-19 virus.

Tractor & Machinery Association of Australia executive director Gary Northover says tractor sales experienced a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 40 per cent in April and are now seven per cent ahead on a year-to-date (YTD) basis.

Around the states, huge lifts were seen in all eastern states. Victoria continues to enjoy a bumper year, up 44 per cent on the same month last year and 22 per cent ahead YTD. New South Wales is up 38 per cent YoY and four per cent YTD.

Northover says Queensland has "had a blinder", rising 78 per cent YoY and now sits three per cent ahead YTD. The same story occurred in South Australia, up 63 per cent for the month and now 17 per cent ahead of last year; while Tasmania reported a 52 per cent lift in April to be 15 per cent ahead for the year.

The story in the West continues to lag, 10 per cent down for the month and 15 per cent down year to date.

Not surprisingly, Northover says unit sales were strong in all categories with the under 40hp (30kw) range, up 26 per cent for the month off the back of the instant asset write-off incentives. These now sit 3.3 per cent ahead for the year to date.

The 40-100hp (30-75kw) range was up strongly 37% and is now one per cent ahead for the year; while the 100-200hp (75-150kw) category had another strong month, up a whopping 63 per cent YoY and 23 per cent YTD.

Similarly, the 200hp (150kw) and above range enjoyed a lift of 27 per cent for the month and is now just six per cent behind YTD.

"While it might seem tempting to be quite excited by recent months’ sales figures, we do attach a note of caution to these results," Northover cautions.

"Firstly, there can be no denying that the government’ instant asset write-off program has stimulated a lot of sales; however this program is due to be scaled back on June 30 to the previous $30,000 limit. The TMA has been working with the MTAA (Motor Traders Association of Australia) to lobby Canberra to have this program extended to at least September 2020 as we believe it is instrumental in supporting the general economic recovery.

"Secondly, we are beginning to see signs of supply shortages in the market. With US and European factory closures occurring as part of the wider COVID-19 lockdowns, supply of machinery to the Australian market is becoming unpredictable, a situation that is expected to get worse before it gets better.

"So, whilst we are enjoying the present level of activity, we remain watchful."

With regards to other products, Northover says sales of combine harvesters continue to be slow with only a small number of sales completed in April and no great prospects for the year ahead despite the improving conditions.

Baler sales continue to be very strong, up three per cent YTD. It was the same story for sales of out-front mowers, now 21 per cent ahead of the same time last year.

The strong rebound in demand for new farm machinery is also feeding into the second-hand market, with traffic and enquiries on TradeFarmMachinery.com.au hitting record levels in April

Farms & Farm Machinery’s digital platform recorded all-time record visitors and classifieds enquiries in the month, as a combination of drought-breaking rain and strong demand for key commodities boosted interest in new and used machinery for sale.

Google Analytics data shows the website attracted 125,928 unique visitors (UV) in the month – the highest level since it was launched in 2013. The April number was 32.5 per cent up on March and almost 6 per cent up on April 2019.

On top of increased reach, visitors are engaging longer on the website too, with average session duration up almost 10 per cent to near 3.5 minutes month-on-month (MoM) and up just under 21 per cent year-on-year (YoY).

And, most importantly, they’re searching and enquiring on stock items for sale more than ever, with enquiries on the almost 40,000 stock items for sale on TradeFarmMachinery.com.au up 38.32 per cent MoM and 83.07 per cent YoY.

The surge in audience reach, engagement and response was also felt across Bauer Media Group’s wider transport and machinery network, with UV’s to TradeEarthmovers.com.au up 27.4 per cent MoM – and 13.7 per cent YoY – to a two-year high of 82,949; while UV’s to TradePlantEquipment.com.au jumped 15.3 per cent MoM – and 14.3 per cent YoY – to 16,980.

The group’s transport industry websites - BusNews.com.au, Fullyloaded.com.au, OwnerDriver.com.au and TradeTrucks.com.au – saw combined UV’s skyrocket 18.23 per cent MoM (and 8.15 per cent YoY) to 245,366; and combined enquiries on over 30,000 new and used stock items for sale increase 14 per cent MoM and almost 3 per cent YoY.

For more information contact Farms & Farm Machinery’s Brand Sales Manager Carl Rakusin on 0409 838 984 or email crakusin@bauer-media.com.au.

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