Tractor sales recorded another decline in May, however high horsepower unit sales increased and combine harvester sales are also ramping up, the Tractor and Machinery Association says
Sales of agricultural tractors have recorded another decline in May, this time finishing 19 per cent lower than the same month last year.
So far this year we have seen around 5,400 tractors sold compared to around 6,800 to this point of 2022, which represents a drop of around 21 per cent.
Expectations of a June spurt as buyers take advantage of the Instant Asset Write Off scheme ending are now low, due to the combined impact of higher interest rates, stock availability and machinery price rises along with a general drop in demand, which is seeing sales reduce.
The forward outlook is also beginning to show signs of a greater than anticipated slowdown.
While demand for agricultural products remains strong, a recent ABARES forecast highlights the likelihood of an El Niño weather pattern occurring later this year.
This forecast has already started to impact the thinking of some farmers with a pullback in spending likely.
Despite this, we foresee a reasonable realignment of the industry as the features and benefits of new tractors continue to meet the needs of customers.
Sales around the nation were down across the board with Victoria off 22 per cent on the same month last year, to be 30 per cent behind for the year to date.
Queensland was down 19 per cent for May and is now 16 per cent behind year to date, while New South Wales was down 16 per cent compared to May 2022 and is 23 per cent off year to date.
Despite another month of strong sales for high horsepower tractors in Western Australia, the state reported a drop of 1 per cent for May and remains 12 per cent behind last year.
South Australia recorded a 16 per cent drop and now sits 12 per cent behind on the year to date, while Tasmania was off 48 per cent for the month and is 26 per cent off year to date.
Sales in the Northern Territory finished 47 per cent down for the month but remain 2 per cent up year to date.
Looking at the machine categories, we find that sales in the 200hp plus (150kW plus) range jumped again this month, this time by 29 per cent, but remain 6 per cent behind last year.
The small, under-40hp (30kw) category – the category most likely to be affected by interest rates – was down by 21 per cent for the month and is now 18 per cent behind year to date.
The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was also well down, 28 per cent in the month and is now 24 per cent behind year to date.
The 100 to 200hp (75-150 kw) category was down, this time by 27 per cent and remains 28 per cent behind year to date.
Sales of combine harvesters have begun occurring in preparation for this year’s season with 27 units sold bringing the year-to-date figure to 123. It appears another year of greater than 1,000 units sold is likely.
Baler sales enjoyed another jump in May, up by a massive 192 per cent on the same month last year and are now up 25 per cent on last year.
Sales of out-front mowers enjoyed a reversal of recent trends, up 14 per cent for the month.
Just a reminder, the annual TMA conference is being held in Sydney on Wednesday July 19th at the Stamford Plaza, Sydney Airport.
Ticketing and event information is available on the TMA’s website – www.tma.asn.au – and the association looks forward to another great event.