Tractor and Machinery Association: May Sales Report

By: Gary Northover

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For the third consecutive month, we have seen a significant lift in tractor sales across most of Australia

Tractor Sales booming across the nation

Tractor Sales booming across the nation - Credit Pierre BRYE / Alamy Stock Photo

For the third consecutive month, we have seen a significant lift in tractor sales across most of Australia as the industry – driven by improved weather prospects along with the increase in the Instant Asset Write Off program to $150,000 – continues to manage its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tractor sales reported a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent for May and are now 12 per cent ahead on a year-to-date basis.

Around the states, huge lifts were once again seen in all Eastern states, Victoria continues to flourish and is up another 32 per cent on the same month last year, now 24 per cent ahead for 2020. New South Wales was again up 38 per cent for the month, now 12 per cent up year-to-date and Queensland had another strong month rising 34 per cent compared to last May and now sits 10 per cent ahead of last year. The improvement in South Australia continues, 13 per cent up for the month and now 16 per cent ahead of last year while Tasmania reported another strong month and is now 21 per cent ahead for the year.

The story in the West turned upwards for the first time in a while, up 7 per cent for the month, 11 per cent down YTD.

With three consecutive months of above-average sales, the industry has resumed a level of activity that will give some comfort to dealers after what has been a torrid two-year period. The news on the weather front keeps getting better and the demand for commodities remains extremely strong, even despite some trade tensions with China.

We are still to hear on our request for an extension to the Governments Instant Asset Write Off program which has supported a lot of sales. Any extensions will need to be managed in the context of challenges with supply as previously reported. Whilst factories across the world have begun reopening, the supply pipeline will take time to replenish, the full impact of this will play out over the coming months.

Turning our attention to the Horsepower demand, the 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category leads the way with another strong month up 60 per cent. (31 per cent for the YTD). The strength in the Horticultural space is having a big impact on demand for this range, strongly supported by the financial incentives in place.

The under 40hp (30kw) range, was up 16 per cent for the month and now sits 5.6 per cent ahead YTD.

The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was again up strongly 39 per cent now 9 per cent ahead for the year and the 200hp (150kw) and above range dipped 13 per cent for the month and is now 7 per cent behind year to date.

With regards to other products, sales of Combine Harvesters has effectively stalled with very few sales completed in May and the outlook still subdued. Whilst there continue to be encouraging signs of a return to grain planting activity, which will ultimately lead to harvesting, meaningful demand for new harvesters is still a fair way off.

Baler sales continue to be very strong up 10 per cent YTD, whilst sales of Out Front Mowers dipped but remain 16 per cent ahead of the same time last year.

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