Machinery dealers around the country have reported a substantial increase in sales of both tractors and farm equipment compared with the same time last year.
Tractor and Machinery Association (TAMA) president Kyle Baxter says while 2020 posed challenges for the industry, the current mood of the organisation’s members is positive.
Overall, tractor sales for 2020 were down 15.3% compared with 2019. Sales of machines in the 375 HP and above were particularly affected with a drop of 25% on the previous year.
However, some segments remained stronger than others during 2020, particularly lifestyle tractors (20-30HP), where sales volumes were very similar to 2019. Meanwhile, tractors sold in the viticulture and horticultural sectors, typically 80 to 100HP, saw a reduction of about 5% compared to 2019’s record breaking year.
Hardest hit was the 140-375Hp range, traditionally sold into the arable and dry stock farming sector, with a 20% reduction compared to 2019.
“This HP segment accounts for a lot of the tractors sold to contractors and hire fleets, which were affected by the general uncertainties around the pandemic,” Baxter explained.
“These guys also experienced further uncertainty in obtaining sufficient workers through the spring and summer season to operate their machines, with a consequential reduction in the yearly sales volumes of larger tractors.”
Looking forward, he says TAMA members are reporting demand for tractors and equipment steadily building, with customers securing machines for Spring/Summer 2021.
“However, the pandemic is continuing to disrupt the overseas supply chain across Europe, America and Asia,” Baxter adds.
“Our members are doing everything they can to ensure machines arrive on time for the season ahead. However, there will be potential delays in global manufacturing and international shipping routes that may be felt during the first half of the year.”
He says TAMA is advising its members to stay well informed of any shipping logistics and to liaise with their customers who may be affected by these delays.