2013 national tractor sales see slight drop

New tractor sales for the year-to-date February 2013 in South Africa were 5% down on the 1 590 units sold during the same period in 2012.

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However, sales of new combine harvesters for the latest period were sharply higher. The SA Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) reported that, during February 2013, 827 new tractors were sold nationally. This was 3,4% up on the 800 units sold in February 2012, bringing total year-to-date February 2013 tractor sales to 1 511 units.

SAAMA also reported that 37 new combine harvesters were sold in February 2013, compared to the 20 units sold in the same month last year. Year-to-date February 2013 new combine harvester sales of 64 units were 93,9% up on the 33 units sold over the same period last year.

“Agricultural machinery sales are still quite buoyant,” said SAAMA chairperson, Callie Human. “In the short-term this is because of purchases ahead of the inevitable price increases which will result from the recent weakening in the value of the rand and ahead of the financial year-end for most farmers.”

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Human said that most of the other fundamentals in the market, such as interest rates, bank finance, crop prices and summer crop prospects, were all still positive, although some areas of SA still needed rain soon in order to ensure that the relevant farmers were able to realise the full potential of their summer crops.

“Current industry expectations are that tractor sales in the 2013 calendar year will be between 6 700 and 7 100 units, between 10% and 15% down on 2012 sales,” said Dr Jim Rankin, SAAMA’s Secretary.