June tractor sales of 569 units were almost 19% up on the 479 units sold in June last year. On a year-to-date basis, tractor sales for the first five months of the year are almost 12% up on what they were this time last year. June combine harvester sales of 25 units were five units more than the 20 units sold in June last year. On a year-to-date basis combine harvester sales are now approximately 5% down on last year.
Tractor sales remain buoyant, in a market which has become even more competitive. Overall crop prospects are good, with the largest ever soya bean crop of over 1,5 million tons now expected. Harvesting of maize is proceeding apace, with the very recent cold spell bringing this on. The latest maize crop estimate has been increased, now to over 13 million tons. Despite the recent weakening of the Rand, crop prices remain depressed and this is affecting many farmers’ cash flow.
With these higher levels of tractor sales in recent months, industry forecasts are now running at a level of between 6 500 and 6 750 units, marginally up on 2017 sales. – SAAMA