SA tractor sales remain under pressure

National tractor sales for 2016 continued to decline with total tractor sales for July 2016 at 451. This was 32% lower than the 655 tractors sold in July 2015.

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The South African Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) reported that for January to July 2016, 3 403 tractors were sold, which was 14,3% fewer than the 3 973 units sold for the corresponding period last year.

According to SAAMA, market sentiment remained positive, despite the ongoing decline.

“However, with the maize harvesting having been delayed in some areas, farmers are still waiting to see what their crops will yield. The late rains, particularly in the east of the summer rainfall areas, will have helped a lot with winter wheat and the upcoming summer crops,” said SAAMA’s chairperson, Lucas Groenewald.

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Groenewald said that, even with the late rains, SA’s agricultural machinery market would likely remain depressed for the next couple of months. Thereafter, the market would be driven by weather conditions, he explained.

“Industry expectations are still that 2016 tractor sales will be down on last year, perhaps by between 15% to 20%,” said SAAMA’s secretary, Dr Jim Rankin.

SAAMA also reported that 14 combine harvesters were sold during July 2016. This was 16,7% more than the 12 units sold during July 2015.

Despite the positive growth between comparative months, year-to-date combine harvester sales of 132 units were 9,6% down on the 146 units sold for the corresponding period last year.