To date, farmers have bought 8.5% fewer tractors for the year to date than at the corresponding time last year, but 40.4% fewer harvesters, says Mr Wynn Dedwith, chairman of the South African Agricultural Machinery Association.

Tractor sales of 449 units in June are slightly more than the 438 units reported in June last year. For the year to date, sales are 8.5% lower than last year.

Only 16 harvesters were sold in June compared to the 29 units sold last June. For the year to date, harvester sales are 40.4% lower than sales last year.

The tractor market was still fairly lively in June, although it remains very competitive. Summer crop farmers in certain parts of the country are still harvesting their crops. Farmers who have already harvested now know what the actual yield and quality of the crop was. In areas where crops were planted late, or where the harvest had to be postponed due to late rains, there is still uncertainty.

Once all summer crops have been harvested, there should be more clarity in the industry about sales trends that can be expected for the rest of the year.

According to industry estimates, tractor sales in 2015 will be about 10% lower than sales last year. Harvester sales are expected to be about 25% lower.

Sales for the industry announced by SALMA relate to the following companies: Argo Industrial (Landini, Kioti and McCormick), Bell Equipment (Bell), Dicla (Farmtrac and Chery), Eqstra Agri Equipment (Deutz Fahr and Same), John Deere South Africa (John Deere), Kempston Agri (Claas), Michigan Equipment (Tafe), New Holland South Africa (New Holland), Northmec (Case IH) and Valtrac (Valtra).