10 November 1995

Survey shows sales to stay high

By Ian Jones

MACHINERY sales have been on a high for a number of months and, according to the results of the first BAGMA/farmers weekly survey, look set to continue so.

The survey, conducted over the past two months, was aimed at BAGMA members – the national dealers trade association.

Dealers reported a very positive selling period in August, with 44% recording an increase in sales compared with last year, 36% remaining the same and only 16% seeing a fall. The increase in sales would continue into September and into the next year.

It is tillage equipment which has seen the largest rise, with the central region doing the best. Drills and ploughs appear to be in demand, with 29% of respondents indicating significant increases.

When it comes to tractor sales, just under half of dealers report sales as good if not a little stronger than last year. In terms of lead time – a contentious issue with most dealers – 52% thought the time from order to delivery was longer than experienced last year.

Combine sales were strong during August, a pattern which looks set to continue for September – only 5% of dealers indicating a fall.

Out-of-season ordering also looks to be favourable, with 53% of dealers indicating continued sales at the same rate as October. Nationally, 26% of dealers thought sales would be higher than last year, 43% thought they would remain the same and only 21% said they would be lower.

Fixed equipment for dairy and arable installations has also seen a rise, report the correspondents involved in these operations. A fifth expected a levelling out in demand in the coming months but no falls are expected. Grain installations had increased by 22% during August.

Methods of payment have changed, especially for smaller tractors, ploughs, drills and hay-making equipment, with more cash being used rather than finance schemes to pay for the goods outright. Cash flow problems do not appear to be a big issue when buying a new machine.

Prices of secondhand tractors is also set to rise, with 48% of respondents indicating that prices of quality tractors over 60hp would increase during the latter part of the year. For tractors under 60hp the consensus of agreement was for prices to stay the same. Used machinery prices have also seen some rises, with 56% of dealers saying prices were up.

New machinery sales will remain as high as last year, with 38% of dealers predicting that sales will continue at the level enjoyed for the past 18 months, only 10% think sales will fall. New tractor sales in the next three months are expected to remain on a par with last year. &#42