SALES of agricultural equipment, particularly tractors, have continued at record levels through November, setting the scene for tractor sales to top the 13,000 mark for 2020.
The Tractor and Machinery Association (TMA) reports that November sales were 38 per cent above the same month last year and were up 23pc year-to-date.
TMA executive director Gary Northover said optimism in the agricultural sector was extremely buoyant with a great harvest underway across the nation supported by the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme which had now been extended to June 2022.
Activity in the month was strong in most states with New South Wales again the standout up 84pc on the same time last year and now sitting 37pc ahead for the year.
Victoria reported a solid lift, up 13pc in the month, and remains 23pc ahead year-to-date.
Queensland was up 55pc to be 16pc 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,” Mr Northover said.
Western Australian sales picked up 54pc and is now in line with last year, while sales in South Australia dipped for the first month in quite a while but were still 30pc up for the year.
Activity in Tasmania continues to be strong, now 27pc ahead for the year.
Lower horsepower leads sales figures
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 67pc for the month and now sits 32pc ahead for the year to date.
The 30 to 75kW (40-100hp) range was again up strongly at 76pc, now 28pc ahead for the year.
The 75 to 150kW (100-200hp) category was steady and is still up 26pc for the year-to-date, while sales in the large 150kW (200hp) plus range dipped again leaving this category 8pc behind for the year-to-date.
Mr Northover said the 150kW category had not enjoyed the same level of sales boost as the smaller ranges. However, of the back of this year’s outstanding harvest, there was considerable optimism that demand for big tractors would improve.
He said sales of harvesters were experiencing a late year flourish in support of one of the best harvests in recent memory and were now 28pc ahead of last year.
Baler sales continue their boom run, up 55pc for the month, remaining up 35pc year-to-date while sales of out–front mowers are flying, now 30pc ahead of the same time last year.
Mr Northover said 2020 had unquestionably been a standout year and we are mindful of the number of important influences that had shaped this and would impact the year ahead.
“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,” he said.
“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 12-16-week delay on deliveries, some suppliers are seeing this improve with a figure of 4–8 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.”