Tractor and combine harvester sales in August are a clear indication that farmers remain optimistic about the production conditions for the season ahead.
According to the latest tractor sales report by the South African Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA), August’s tractor sales of 724 units were almost 56% more than the 465 units sold in August last year.
Year-to-date tractor sales were up almost 30% on last year with 4 685 units sold so far in 2021.
Fourteen combine harvesters were sold in August, one unit more than the 13 units sold in August last year, while on a year-to-date basis, combine harvester sales were now almost 25% up on last year.
Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at Agbiz, said it was worth noting that sales during much of last year were negatively affected by the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, so this year’s increases in sales were from a low base.
Karel Munnik, chairperson of SAAMA, said sentiment on the market remained positive due to good summer crops and good prospects for winter crops.
“However, summer-crop farmers face increased input costs for their forthcoming plantings and this might affect machinery sales. Nevertheless, forecasts for the remainder of the year indicate that tractor sales for 2021 will be between 15% and 20% up on last year.”