Tractor sales set to dip as rand depreciates

The recent weakening of the rand against important international currencies was likely to result in a dip in national agricultural machinery sales.

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January 2013 new tractor sales of 684 units were already 13,4% down on the 790 units sold in January 2012. The South African Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) however said that, despite these lower tractor sales, the national agricultural machinery market remained very buoyant as market fundamentals continued to look good even though the maize price had recently weakened.

“Weather conditions in the eastern parts of the country have been favourable and summer crops in most of these areas are looking good,” said SAAMA’s Chairperson, Callie Human. “In the western parts of the country there are some areas that still need rain in order to realise the full potential of the crops.”

SAAMA added that the prevailing mood in the local agricultural machinery market was one of cautious optimism, with some farmers having bought tractors ahead of anticipated price increases resulting from the rand’s devaluation. For January 2013 combine harvester sales of 27 units were 107,7% up on the 13 units sold in January 2012. SAAMA’s Secretary, Dr Jim Rankin said, “Current expectations are that tractor sales in the 2013 calendar year will be of the order of 7 000 units, approximately 10% down on 2012 sales.”

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