Machinery demand huge but stocks low due to restrictions on imports

Machinery demand huge but stocks low due to restrictions on imports

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SUPPLY AND DEMAND: Yendon tractor salesman Bruce Weisman says he has seen increased demand for farm machinery but he is having issues sourcing supply.

SUPPLY AND DEMAND: Yendon tractor salesman Bruce Weisman says he has seen increased demand for farm machinery but he is having issues sourcing supply.

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More than 15,000 tractors have been sold nationally in the last 12 months.

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Tractor sales have soared over the past year, but due to the restricted importation of overseas agricultural machinery stock has become limited across Victoria.

The federal government's instant asset write-off scheme has seen more than 15,700 tractors sold nationally in the past 12 months.

However, this buying spree - and strict biosecurity measures bottlenecking ports - has put a huge dent in stock supplies.

Yendon tractor salesman Bruce Weisman has been working in the agricultural machinery industry for more than 39 years and is the go-to man for tractors in his local community.

However, Mr Weisman said tractors have become difficult to obtain due to low stocking rates, which has resulted in a more than 50 per cent financial loss for his business.

"Tractor sales have been good, but I can't get any stock, I currently have two tractors but normally I have 10 or a dozen, but I just can't get the stock," he said.

"If you don't have [the stock], you can't sell it.

"My yard usually has $500,000 worth of stock but I can't even get $50,000 worth of stock at the moment.

"With some of the new tractors, there is a 12-month wait to get them, and it is not about the price it is about supply and demand - demand's there, supply's not."

According to the Tractor and Machinery Association (TMA), tractor sales in Victoria are 32 per cent ahead for the year and are continuously rising.

TMA executive director Gary Northover said worldwide demand had been testing for manufacturers, but it was biosecurity laws primarily preventing the restocking of agricultural machinery.

"Just to make matters worse, the bottlenecks we are seeing in Australia's ports are making people pull their hair out because ports are being flooded with demand," Mr Northover said.

"The government has been working on introducing increased biosecurity measures - which we fully support - but that clearly adds to the complexity of getting stock out of the port.

"The demand has been unprecedented, and with the tax write-off scheme continuing for another two years, it's exhausted many dealers' inventories."

Case IH general manager Pete McCann said the increase in sales had been welcomed but they were trying to weather the storm when it came to supply issues.

"Demand for agricultural machinery has certainly been very high in the past six months with improved seasonal conditions and strong commodity prices encouraging a lot of interest in new machinery investments," Mr McCann said.

"The federal government's investment incentives have also helped fuel this demand for machinery, which has all added up to a busy time for our Case IH dealer network.

"This has resulted in some stock level challenges, and delays at our container ports remain an issue, but we're working hard with our dealers to ensure customers have what they need."

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