In the second of a series of articles looking at what tractors are popular in other countries, Steven Vale reports from Brazil



How many tractors do they buy?

45,021 new tractors of 50hp and above were sold in Brazil during 2009. That was up by 4.7% on 2008 figures. The bulk of sales was for tractors from 50 to 78hp.

What was the most popular segment last year?

15,000 (36%) of the tractors sold in Brazil last year were through the government-run People’s Tractor Programme. Aimed at farms that do not yet have a tractor it is available on tractors from 50 to 75hp.

To qualify, farms must earn less than R100,000 (£34,000) a year. The government then funds the new tractor. Owners pay no deposit and no interest or repayments for the first three years. The balance must then be paid off over a maximum of seven years at an interest rate of just 2%.

Which is the most popular make?

Historically, MF dominates the market with a third of total sales. Valtra normally follows with 25% with New Holland not far behind in third spot. MF was once again the undisputed best seller in 2009 with a market share of 30%, but New Holland toppled Valtra from the number two spot with 24% of total sales. Valtra slipped into third position (21.2%).

John Deere maintained a 14% share and fourth place, while Agrale/Yanmar has a 7% share of the Brazilian tractor market. Case IH represents 3% of the market.

What are Brazilian farmers’ favourite tractors?

Traditionally, MF’s 275 and New Holland’s TL75, two popular 75hp tractors, battle it out for the top spot. Last year was no exception and it is still not decided who came out tops. Valtra’s 785 held on to third position. When combined, these three tractors account for 16,000 tractors during 2009.

Average power across all new tractors more than 50hp was 88hp during 2009 compared to 98hp in 2008. This drop was due solely to the People’s Tractor Programme. The forecast this year is for an average of around 100hp. Sugar mills prefer 150 to 200hp tractors. Sugar prices were not good last year and this slowed sales. This year sugar prices are at record high levels and major investment in big tractors is expected.

Valtra-in-Brazil-large

How much do farmers pay for diesel?

In Brazil, there is no difference in price between street diesel and agricultural diesel. At the start of February it was R1.99-2.20/litre (68p-74p/litre). Brazil has many millions of hectares of sugar cane and 90% of the country’s cars run on ethanol. Many farms are eager for a diesel engine that also burns ethanol.

Do they have a tractor MOT?

There is no MOT or registration plate for tractors in Brazil, and tractors are not allowed on public roads. Instead, they are restricted to an extensive network of dirt tracks.