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Quarterly tractor sales buoyant despite dairy payout

18 July 2016

Quarterly tractor sales buoyant despite dairy payout

“New Zealand Tractor sales are relatively buoyant, despite the current dairy payout,” says NZ Tractor and Machinery Association President, Mark Hamilton-Manns.

The second quarter results of New Zealand tractor sales, compiled by the NZ Tractor and Machinery Association, show tractor sales declined slightly, by 8.5%, compared to the same quarter last year. Several segments saw an increase, however, including the consumer segment which grew by 15%, as more Kiwis bought smaller 20–60hp compact tractors for their lifestyle blocks, hire fleets and some commercial applications.

The 121–140hp, 141–180hp and 181–250hp segments also grew by 39%, 116% and 125% respectively. These tractors are predominantly used in arable and dry stock farming operations and also by contractors. Tractor sales in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa and Nelson also grew on the back of strong growth in the horticulture and viticulture industries.

Sales in the traditional dairy segment (100–120 horsepower tractors) declined in the last quarter by 15%.

“Dairy farmers are still buying. Our members have noticed they’re taking longer to make decisions, and often choosing a machine with a lower level of specification. In some cases, cabs are considered a luxury and have been removed from the shopping list,” said Mr Hamilton-Manns.

“There’s no doubt dairy farmers are still prepared to purchase if there is a strong return on investment. Often replacing a tractor or machine will reduce annual expenditure as repairs and maintenance costs are generally less on a new machine and often covered by warranty. Newer tractors are also more fuel efficient as technology keeps improving.”

“The consumer market is also very competitive right now and there’s some great deals to be had. Consumers are generally less experienced buying machinery, however, and often underestimate the importance of the availability of parts, service and warranty support. A great deal upfront may become very expensive later on. Our advice is to buy from a recognised New Zealand dealer as you can be assured of access to parts and great service later.”

With the tightening dairy market, Mr Hamilton-Manns said tractor manufacturers and retailers were investing in training, aftermarket support and parts supply to ensure customers’ machines kept operating. “Moreover, our manufacturers are investing heavily in R&D to meet off-road emissions regulations, integrate technology into machines and reduce operating costs.”


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