Farmers expected to buy older-priced machinery as rand weakens

General rains have fallen in many of the summer cropping areas over the past two weeks, said the SA Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) chairperson Callie Human, in a press release.

These rains have saved crops which were at a critical stage in their development, especially in the western production regions.

While follow-up rains were required in the next few weeks, overall prospects for most of areas were now good.

The SA agricultural machinery sales sector believed farmers will now be aiming to buy tractors and combine harvesters at prices set before the recent weakening of the rand. While only a short-term action these purchases are expected to stimulate the national agricultural machinery sales market.

SAAMA warned that the rand had “caused uncertainty in the market and this will lead to significant equipment price increases”.

It reported that January 2014 tractor sales of 691 units were 1% up on the 684 units sold in January 2013. The 22 combine harvesters sold were 18,5% down on the 27 units sold in January 2013.

“Current predictions of sales for the 2014 calendar year indicate that tractor sales are likely to be between 6 800 and 7 200 units, between 5% and 10% down on last year,” said Dr Jim Rankin, SAAMA’s secretary.

SA’s total 2013 tractor sales were 7 516 units; total combine harvester sales for the same period were 352 units.