Agri machinery sales up, but bakkie sales subdued in July

Agri machinery sales up, but bakkie sales subdued in July
The South African Agricultural Machinery Association indicated that 444 tractors were sold in July, up 21% on the 368 units sold during the same month last year. Photo: Denene Erasmus

Tractor and combine harvester sales increased in July compared with the same period last year. However, new vehicle sales remained subdued.

The latest report released by the South African Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) indicated that 444 tractors were sold in July, up 21% on the 368 units sold during the same month last year.

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The total combine harvester sales for July was 11, an increase of three units compared with last year.

According to Greg Cadman, chairperson of SAAMA, factors such as uncertainty about the performance of the rand resulted in existing stock being bought before inevitable price increases later this year.

“Secondly, good summer crops are currently being harvested and prospects for winter crops and the forthcoming summer cropping season are looking encouraging.”

Estimates for 2020 had therefore improved, with sales likely to be similar to 2019.

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Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at Agbiz, said: “While South Africa’s agricultural machinery sales this year could largely be [more] positive than we initially expected, we expect subdued performance going into 2021.”

He added that the weaker rand would lead to higher prices for imported agricultural machinery, which would reduce farmers’ ability to acquire tractors and combine harvesters.

The latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) report indicated domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses of 11 123 units during July, which was a 2 736 decline compared with the 13 859 vehicles sold during July last year.

Aggregate sales fell by 13 646 units, or 29,6%, from the 46 042 units sold in July 2019.