The South African Agricultural Machinery Association (SAAMA) announced that tractor sales remained positive despite the lockdowns.
Chairman of SAAMA, Greg Cadman, said data released showed that the July combine harvester sales of 11 units were three units more than the 8 units sold in July last year.
“On a year-to-date basis combine harvester sales are now almost 8% up on the same period last year” he said.
The Agricultural Business Chamber (AgBiz) said that the tractor sales were buoyed by farmers’ decision to buy the existing stock at relatively affordable prices encouraged by the result of the weaker rand.
“The large summer grains harvest in the 2019/20 production season and relatively favourable prices have somewhat improved the farmers’ financial position to acquire additional machinery” it noted.
July tractor sales of 444 units were significantly (21%) more than the 368 units sold in July last year.
There were further expectations that affordable tractor prices will provide some relief for farmers especially going into the harvesting season.
SAAMA said it expected the positive market sentiment to continue albeit for a short-term period of time, boosting agricultural machinery sales. “Overall, estimates for the 2020 calendar year are now looking better, with sales likely to be at similar levels to those in 2019” said Cadman.
AgBiz expected a subdued performance of SA’s agricultural machinery market going into 2021. Chief among the sombre forecast is the weaker domestic currency which is expected to lead to ‘higher prices for imported agricultural machinery.’
“Also, the further downgrade of South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to the sub-investment grade could negatively influence the financing of agricultural equipment” it said.