February tractor sales of 485 units were almost 8% less than the 526 units sold in February last year. On a year-to-date basis, tractor sales are now almost 11% down on the same period last year. February combine harvester sales of 18 units were three units more than the 15 units sold in February last year. On a year-to-date basis, combine harvester sales are 21% up on the same period last year.
The first production forecast for summer crops for 2020 shows that the production of all crops is likely to be higher than last year. In particular, the overall maize crop at 14,6 million tons is expected to be almost 30% up on last year. This may, of course, lead to a decline in maize prices. Current combine harvester sales, however, show that farmers are preparing to harvest good crops. The tractor market is still highly price competitive. Despite the very recent rand weakness, this price sensitivity in the market is likely to continue in the short term. Nevertheless, industry sentiment is one of cautious optimism and expectations are that tractor sales in 2020 will be similar to those in 2019. – South African Agricultural Machinery Association