DURBAN - Tractor sales plunged by 29.6percent year-on-year (y/y) in October to only 575 units as farmers waited for rain, according to Greg Cadman, the chairperson of the South African Agricultural Machinery Association.
“Although farmers in many of the summer-cropping areas have begun preparations for the forthcoming season, cold weather and the general lack of early rain have held them back,” he said.
He said climatological predictions, however, were that chances for rain in the summer cropping areas should improve from about the middle of November, which should lead to better prospects for the agricultural machinery industry as farmers begin planting in earnest. “Industry forecasts for the 2019 calendar year are now at a level between 20 and 25percent below the 6700 units sold last year,” he said.
The last time there was a y/y increase in tractor sales was in October 2018, when there was a 13.9percent jump to 817 units sold. In the first 10 months of this year, tractor sales were down 23.2percent y/y. Combine harvester sales fared even worse with a 59.3percent y/y slump in October, which brought the sales of these down 22.4percent y/y in the first 10 months of 2019.