SA agricultural machinery sales decline

The decline in numbers of new tractors and combine harvesters sold in South Africa since the beginning of 2016 is continuing.

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The SA Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) recently reported that for the period 1 January – 31 March 2016, new tractor sales were 10,2% down, with combine harvester sales down 25,7% compared to sales figures for the same period last year.

According to SAAMA chairperson Wynn Dedwith, the significantly lower March 2016 sales figures were mainly due to the fact that most of the remaining stocks of tractors and combine harvesters were priced before the rand weakened significantly against the US dollar were snapped up before the end of February.

“Farmers are now showing caution and are likely to delay their buying decisions until their crops have been harvested. This will mean that tractor sales in the next two or three months will surely be depressed,” said Dedwith.

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SAAMA reported that 434 new tractors were sold nationwide in March, 28% lower than the 603 units sold in March 2015. Year-to-date March 2016 new tractor sales of 1 745 units were 10,2% down compared to the 1 944 units sold for the year-to-date March 2015.

The 14 new combine harvesters sold in March 2016 were 30% lower than the 20 units sold in March 2015. Year-to-date March 2016 combine harvester sales of 52 units were 25,7% down on the 70 units sold for the year-to-date March 2015.
“Expectations for new tractor sales for the 2016 calendar year have been revised downwards.

The current forecast is that they will be between 15% and 20% down on last year,” said SAAMA secretary Dr Jim Rankin.