The 2017 total of 12,674 is the best result in more than 30 years and the seventh consecutive year of 10,000-plus sales. Last year was the biggest annual total since 1982 and it’s been 33 years since the 12,000 sales barrier was broken.
Last year was 8.1 per cent above the 2016 mark which saw 11,729 tractors delivered. Alan Kirsten, director of Agriview, the company which collects the tractor sales data on behalf of the Tractor and Machinery Association, said it was a stunning result.
“Agricultural spending in a low interest environment has seen a continued investment in machinery,” Kirsten said.
In terms of horsepower, the large tractor market continued to grow, with sales of 200hp (150kW) or more up by 7.7% compared to 2016. Large tractor sales were up in every state except for Western Australia where a dry winter cropping period may have subdued demand.
Small tractor (less than 40hp) sales were up by 7.6pc, from 2764 to 2973 and tractors 40-100hp (30-75Kw) were up 5.5% from 4014 to 4236. The strongest growth was in the 100-200hp (75-150Kw) category where sales lifted 11.7% from 3278 to 3663 tractors.
Western Australian sales of large tractors dropped by 11%, down to 332 while Victorian sales of large horsepower tractors went from 251 to 273.
Harvester sales were steady at 869 combines sold for the year. Class 7 combine sales dropped 15% from 145 to 123 machines while Class 8 combine sales were down slightly from 384 to 379.
Class 9 harvester sales were up 6.1% from 327 to 347 combines, which represents a significant investment given this size harvester and front will not leave a lot of change from $800,000.
Bucking the trend somewhat was Western Australia where harvester sales lifted 4.6% from 238 to 249 while Victorian sales went from 122 to 180 combines.
There was no joy in the hay market as baler sales dropped 22.7% to 732 machines. There were 209 large square balers sold, down from 232 the previous year.