March 2018 tractor sales of 726 units were significantly (41%) up on the 515 units sold in March last year. On a year-to-year basis, tractor sales for the first three months of the year are approximately 12% up on what they were this time last year. March combine harvester sales of 25 units were two units more than the 23 units sold in March last year, but sales for the year-to-date are approximately 5% down on last year.
Although March tractor sales exceeded most expectations, the fundamentals in the market in regard to crop prospects and prices and the relatively strong Rand remain largely unchanged. Most commercial tractor buyers do not need to make their buying decisions immediately and can delay these decisions for a month or two, when crop prospects will be more definite. What has bolstered the market this month is government tenders.
Industry forecasts for the 2018 calendar year are that tractor sales should be at least at similar levels to 2017 sales. – SAAMA