Agricultural Equipment sales, particularly tractors have achieved levels not seen since the 1980’s finishing well above the 13,000-unit mark with December delivering sales 27% above the same month last year leading to the 12 month period being up 24% on last year.
Much has been said about the level of optimism in the agricultural sector with a great harvest now largely completed supported by the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme which has now been extended to June 2022. Concerns surrounding supply from overseas sources are generally being dealt with as dealers work to deliver on customer’s requirements. The year has seen a continuation of recent trends as demand for bigger horsepower machines increased along with demand for low emissions engines. The Used Equipment Market, supported by the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme has been strong and finance rates continue to be set at extremely attractive levels.
Activity in the month was strong in most states with NSW again the standout up 66% on the same time last year and now sitting 40% ahead for the year. Victoria reported a solid lift up 17% in the month and finished 22% ahead year to date, meanwhile Queensland was up 31% to be 18% up for the year.
Western Australia sales picked up 7% in December and is now in line with last year whilst sales in South Australia were steady ending 27% up and finally Tasmania finished the year 27% ahead.
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 72% for the month and ended 36% ahead for the year to date. The 40 to 100hp (30-75kw) range was again up strongly 16% in the month, 27% ahead for the year.
The 100 to 200hp (75-150kw) category was again up 28% and ended the year up 26% whilst sales in the large 200 hp (150kw) PLUS range dipped again leaving this category 8% for 2020.
The much talked about supply challenges have been felt across all size categories and for the first time in a long while, dealers have been forced to move stock around amongst themselves to satisfy orders. Pleasingly, most dealerships are now returning to full staffing levels which will assist in meeting the challenges ahead.
Sales of Combine Harvesters experienced a late year flourish in support of one of the best harvests in recent memory and finished the year 25% ahead of last year.
Baler sales continued their boom run, which is now around 3 years old! remaining up 35% year to date whilst sales of Out – Front Mowers are flying, now 40% ahead of the same time last year.
As we look forward to 2021, most suppliers are predicting a continuation of the strong levels of demand underpinned by both the ongoing favourable weather conditions and the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme. We do however expect to see some unevenness in supply as the main manufacturing centres in Nth America and Europe continue to struggle with the impacts of the Coronavirus. This may lead to some “lumpiness” in sales reporting however, we expect next year to be another strong one.