Ag Industry, TMA

Tractor sales continue slowdown in March

Tractor sales are continuing their return back to normal following boom times, the Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia says

The slowdown in tractor sales continued in the month of March with around 1,000 tractors sold across the nation.

This figure is 29 per cent below the sales recorded in the same month last year and has contributed to a first quarter result which is 22 per cent behind last year.

As the TMA has reported for the past few months, this level of activity is back to what is considered normal, following the intense activity of the prior two years.

If achieved, an annual sales figure of 12,000 units, based on 1,000 sales per month, would represent a soft landing following these boom times.

While sales activity is healthy, the supply shortages of the past are now being replaced by some overstocking in dealers’ yards.

Supply chain challenges have made it very difficult to order just the right amount of stock to be delivered at the right time.

Consequently, machines that were ordered some 12 months ago are now only just arriving at a time when demand has slipped.

Looking at the state-by-state picture, Queensland sales were down 29 per cent against the same month last year to be 19 per cent behind for the year to date.

New South Wales was down 36 per cent and is now 30 per cent behind for the year, while Victoria was off 27 per cent for March to be 24 per cent below last year.

Western Australia reported its first drop in a while, down by 13 per cent for March to be in line with the same time last year.

South Australia was down 35 per cent for the month and is now down 25 per cent on the previous year-to-date.

Tasmania was off 15 per cent for the month, with sales in the Northern Territory finishing 14 per cent down.

Sales of the 200hp plus (150kw plus) range were again the best of the machinery categories.

This category was, however, 3 per cent below the same month last year but is still up 50 per cent on the year to date.

The small, under-40 hp (under-30kw) category was down by 26 per cent for the month to be 34 per cent behind for the year to date.

This segment, known as the leisure market, is most susceptible to high interest rates so we anticipate challenges here for some time to come.

The 40hp to 100hp (30-75kw) range was also down 43 per cent in March and is now behind 36 per cent year to date.

Lastly, the 100hp to 200hp (75-150 kw) category was down 29 per cent in March to be 25 per cent behind for the year.

An increase in sales of combine harvesters is yet to materialise, with 89 units sold thus far this year compared to 93 to this point last year.

Baler sales finished down 25 per cent on the same month last year, because of difficult growing conditions for hay, but are now 5 per cent up overall for the year to date.

Finally, sales of out-front mowers were again up, this time by around 23 per cent in the month.

TMA Conference

This year’s TMA conference is scheduled to be held on Thursday July 18 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, a venue the association last visited in 2017.

Continuing the theme of Towards 2030, the conference will feature an exciting line-up of speakers on critical industry issues such as AI in agriculture, attracting women to the workplace, effective marketing strategies, personal financial planning and more.

The conference will also have its regular economic update from Westpac’s Justin Smirk and the state of industry report from Kynetec.

Tickets are now on sale at the TMA website

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