September boom for Ag sales

By: Gary Northover, Executive Director of the Tractor & Machinery Association

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2020 might be the year that tractor sales pass the 13,000 mark for the first time since the 1980s, according to the Tractor & Machinery Association

September boom for Ag sales
The increase in sales numbers is mostly due to strength at the smaller end of the market.


2020, the year of the worst shock to the world’s economy since the great depression looks like be a record for tractor sales in Australia.

Sales in the month of September were up 29 per cent on the same month last year and are now up 22 per cent year to date.

The ongoing demand for agricultural produce combined with favourable weather conditions across the nation, supported by the Federal Government’s Instant Asset Write Off program, is supporting record sales volumes.

Previous record years have seen tractor sales of 12,000 achieved, this year looks like going past the 13,000 mark for the first time since the 1980’s

Check out the August sales data here

Activity across the states remains extremely positive with the continued recovery in NSW the standout up a whopping 41 per cent on the same time last year and now sitting 30 per cent ahead for the year.

Victoria reported another strong month, up 27 per cent and now 22 per cent ahead for the year to date meanwhile Queensland was up 22 per cent to be 14 per cent up for the year.

Western Australia sales were down due to some negative weather events and remains 4 per cent behind last year.

Sales in South Australia are back on track with another strong month after a poor 2019 now 60 per cent up YTD, activity in Tasmania remains strong, now 25 per cent ahead for the year.

The increase in sales numbers is again due almost entirely to the ongoing strength in the smaller end of the market supported by the Instant Asset Write off scheme. The under 40hp (30kw) range was up 71 per cent for the month and now sits 29 per cent ahead for the year to date.   

The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was again up strongly 27 per cent now 22 per cent ahead for the year.

The 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category bounced, up 26 per cent and still up 31 per cent for the YTD whilst sales in the large 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range where again down another 23 per cent leaving this category 9 per cent behind YTD.  

Demand for large tractors is being impacted by a range of factors including the persistent drought in regions within Northern NSW and Southern Queensland and the ongoing challenges being felt in the West. Further pressure is being felt as a result of recent price increases.

With regards to other products, sales of Combine Harvesters remain steady with most product now in place for the upcoming harvest season. The full year picture is likely to be around 15 per cent-20 per cent down on last year.

Baler sales were again very strong, remaining up 38 per cent year to date whilst sales of Out - Front Mowers were strong and still 15 per cent ahead of the same time last year.

The outlook for the industry remains extremely positive, particularly in light of the recent budget announcements still to be approved in parliament. Initiatives such as the extension of the Instant Asset write off program, incentives for apprenticeships and increased investment in R&D go a long way to building confidence in the industry.

The current La Niña weather pattern being experienced across much of Australia, combined with historically low interest rates, augers well for the year ahead.

The results for the TMA Quarterly Dealer Business Sentiment Survey are now in and not surprisingly, the outlook expressed by dealers is quite positive. The full report can be found on the TMA website.

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