Standout year for tractor sales

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Sales of agricultural equipment, particularly tractors, continued at record levels with November delivering sales 38 per cent above the same month last year and are now up 23 per cent year to date in Australia.

Standout year for tractor sales
The increase in sales numbers is due almost entirely to the ongoing strength in the smaller end of the market.

2020 is now on course to deliver sales well above the 13,000-unit mark.

Optimism in the agricultural sector is extremely buoyant at present with a great harvest underway across the nation supported by the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme which has now been extended to June 2022.

Activity in the month was strong in most states with NSW again the standout up 84 per cent on the same time last year and now sitting 37 per cent ahead for the year. Victoria reported a solid lift up 13 per cent  in the month and remains 23 per cent ahead year to date, meanwhile Queensland was up 55 per cent  to be 16 per cent up for the year.

The monthly picture in all states is tending to fluctuate a little more than usual as dealers try to cope with social distancing challenges, stock supply challenges and the very hectic nature of the market.

Western Australia sales picked up 54 per cent on and is now in line with last year whilst sales in South Australia dipped for the first month in quite a while but is still  30 per cent up YTD, activity in Tasmania continues to be strong, now 27 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 67 per cent for the month and now sits 32 per cent ahead for the year to date. The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was again up strongly 76 per cent now 28 per cent ahead for the year.

The 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category was steady and is still up 26 per cent for the YTD, while sales in the large 200hp (150kw) plus range dipped again leaving this category 8 per cent behind YTD.  

The 200hp plus category has not enjoyed the same level of sales boost as the smaller ranges however, of the back of this year’s outstanding harvest, there is considerable optimism that demand for big tractors will improve

Sales of combine harvesters are experiencing a late year flourish in support of one of the best harvests in recent memory and are now 28 per cent ahead of last year.

Baler sales continue their boom run, up 55 per cent for the month, remaining up 35 per cent year to date whilst sales of out-front mowers are flying, now 30 per cent ahead of the same time last year.

2020 has unquestionably been a standout year. Along with the outstanding weather conditions and the Government’s Instant Asset Write Off Scheme, the issue of stock supply has been a key focus of recent months.

There is hope that the worst may not happen here and that factories are adjusting to their new normal. Where early predictions were of a 12 to 16 week delay on deliveries, some suppliers are seeing this improve with a figure of 4 to 8 weeks delay anticipated.

Manufacturers are having to deal with not only the impacts of Covid 19 on their workforce but also the impact on component manufacturers, an increasing steel price and an increasing shipping cost, all of which will undoubtedly impact machine prices at some stage.

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