OCTOBER has been another standout month for tractor sales across Australia, continuing a very strong trend throughout 2020.
Sales for the month were up 25 per cent on the same month last year and are now up 22pc year to date.
The sector is on track to exceed the 13,000-unit mark for the full year for the first time since the 1980s.
Tractor and Machinery Association (TMA) executive director, Gary Northover, said while there remained considerable buoyancy in the market off the back of the Instant Asset Write off program and a very strong year for agricultural product, the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic on factories and shipping across the globe were now impacting supply.
“Most dealers are not yet reporting lost business, but many are having to keep a sale by offering an alternative,” he said.
“This situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future as, not only is factory output down due to social distancing requirements, the number of cargo ships in operation is also down further exacerbating the problem.
“We estimate that this has added around 12 -16 weeks to most deliveries. In addition, the supply of parts remains challenging and suppliers are being hit with additional freight charges to get parts into their systems.”
State-by-state sales figures
In October tractor sales, New South Wales was the standout, up 70pc on the same time last year and now sitting 34pc ahead for the year.
Victoria reported a steady month and remains 24pc ahead year to date while Queensland was up 12pc to be 13pc up for the year.
Western Australia sales picked up 5pc on the previous month and remain 3pc behind last year.
Sales in South Australia continue to fly at 36pc up on the year-to-date, while activity in Tasmania remains strong, now 28pc ahead for the year.
Smaller categories lead
Mr Northover said the increase in sales numbers was 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 30kW (40hp) range was up 33pc for the month and now sits 29pc ahead for the year to date.
The 30-75kW (40-100hp) range was again up strongly by 41pc, now 24pc ahead for the year.
The 75-150kW (100-200hp) category was up 12pc and still up 28pc for the year whilst sales in the large 150kW plus (200hp plus) range were steady, leaving this category 8pc behind for the year.
Harvester sales are beginning to improve again, with the full year picture likely to be around 15pc-20pc up on last year and, whilst not nearing record numbers of 800 plus units, a figure of 650-700 is likely.
Baler sales continue their boom, up 21pc for the month, remaining up 31pc year-to-date whilst sales of out–front mowers were strong and still 21pc ahead of the same time last year.