February agricultural machinery sales take a dip

February 2014 was not a good month for agricultural machinery sales across South Africa, with the weakened rand having contributed to higher prices for the mostly imported farming equipment.

According to the SA Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA), February 2014 tractor sales of 674 units were 18,5% down on the 827 tractors sold in February last year. Year-to-date February 2014 tractor sales of 1 365 units were also 9,7% lower than the 1 511 units sold during the same period of 2013.

SAAMA also reported that February 2014 combine harvester sales of 36 units were 2,7% down on the 37 units sold in February last year. The 58 combine harvester units sold for the year-to-date February 2014 were 9,4% down on the 64 units sold during the corresponding time last year.

“Rand weakness has forced most supplier companies to increase prices and these higher prices are now feeding through to the market,” said SAAMA chairperson Callie Human. “This will probably have a restraining effect on sales in the short-term.”
SAAMA secretary Dr Jim Rankin said that current agricultural machinery industry predictions were for 6 800 to 7 200 tractors to be sold over the 2014 calendar year. If accurate this would be 5% to 10% down on 2013’s total tractor sales of 7 516 units.