April tractor sales of 459 units were again significantly up (15%) on the 398 units sold in April last year. On a year-to-date basis, tractor sales for the first four months of the year are approximately 13% up on what they were this time last year. April combine harvester sales of 29 units were one unit less than the 30 units sold in April last year, but sales for the year-to-date are still approximately 5% down on last year.
The continued good tractor sales indicate that sentiment in the market is still good. The very recent weakening of the Rand may have meant that some buyers have brought forward their buying decisions. Although most tractor sales are traditionally into the annual grain cropping areas, it is likely that current sales into perennial horticultural areas are now taking place as these farmers can realise better prices for their exports.
With this recent upturn in tractor sales, industry forecasts have been revised upwards to a level of up to 6 700 units, or approximately 5% up on 2017 sales. – SAAMA