Tractor & Machinery Association Sales Summary | Q1 2024

Updated: May 01, 2024 | |

In conjunction with our recent sales summaries and market reports for the caravan, truck, and motorcycle industries, we are thrilled to present our first ever sales summary for the Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia (TMA). This summary was based on the TMA’s sales data for January, February, and March 2024, and offers a look back at the agricultural industry’s performance in Q1 of 2024.

Tractors: High Horsepower Machines Resist Overall Sales Decline

Total tractor sales have been down year-on-year throughout the entirety of Q1, with 2,345 units sold as of March 2024 – a 22.4% decline on the previous year. In January, sales started at 622 units, showing a 17.1% decrease from January 2023. February saw a slight improvement with sales increasing to 789 units, despite still being lower year-over-year. Although March sales leapt up to 934 units, this represented a marked decrease from 1,309 in 2023.

Despite the month-to-month variability, the overall quarter’s performance indicates a challenging market with a general trend of declining sales compared to the previous year.

Segment-Specific Sales

0-40 Hp Tractors

This segment experienced consistent declines throughout the quarter: -34.7% in January, -40.4% in February, and -26.1% in March. The consistent decrease suggests a shrinking market for lower horsepower tractors.

40-100 Hp Tractors

Similar to the smallest category, this segment also saw a steady decrease in year-on-year sales: -32.3% in January, 30.5% in February, and a steep 42.9% in March.

100-200 Hp Tractors

The declines were less severe but consistent in this mid-range category: -13.4% in January, -29.2% in February, and -28.9% in March.

200+ Hp Tractors

Contrasting dramatically with other categories, this segment showed growth in January by an enormous +158.1%, a massive jump in February by +130.3%, but experienced a minor decrease of -2.7% in March. The overall strong performance suggests a significant shift towards higher capacity and more powerful machinery.

Other Agricultural Equipment

The performance of other types of agricultural equipment varied significantly throughout Q1.

Combine Harvesters

Combines experienced a mixed performance year-on-year: an increase of +25.9% in January, a significant decrease of -53.1% in February, and a slight decrease of -17.9% in March. The overall trend points to volatility in this market segment.


Balers showed an increase of +40.0% in January, saw no change in February, and then decreased by -27.6% in March, indicating some instability but generally better performance than combines.

Out Front Mowers

This equipment category exhibited substantial growth throughout the quarter: increases of 47.7% in January, 54.6% in February, and 23.0% in March. The consistent growth across all months highlights expanding demand for this type of machinery.

Seasonal Considerations

The TMA’s own reports emphasise the importance of contextual understanding when analysing the sales data, urging that direct month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution due to the seasonal nature of the agricultural industry. This suggests that certain fluctuations might be heavily influenced by seasonal demands or operational cycles specific to the time of year.

This seasonality is clearly seen in the above graph, which shows consistent seasonal sales spikes in line with the 5-year average. However, it is worth noting that with the exception of the June spike, sales from March 2023 to March 2024 have sat well below the 5-year average, a potentially worrying sign as we continue to move through 2024.

Data Scope and Limitations

With that said, it is important to note that while sales data compiled in the report covers retail sales across all states and territories of Australia, it only includes contributions from most, but not all, machinery manufacturers and distributors. This comprehensive yet not exhaustive dataset suggests that while the trends observed are indicative of broader market movements, they might not capture every nuance or smaller market player, potentially skewing perception of total market dynamics.

Market Dynamics and Implications

The first quarter of 2024 highlighted several key trends within the agricultural machinery market:

  • A notable shift from lower to higher horsepower tractors indicates a possible trend towards larger-scale farming operations, which might be driving the need for more robust and efficient machinery.
  • The performance of combines and balers suggests some market volatility, possibly influenced by seasonal factors and changing farming practices.
  • The strong and steady increase in sales of out front mowers across all three months signals a rising demand for versatile and efficient landscaping and smaller agricultural equipment.

Overall, the market for agricultural machinery in Q1 2024 showed significant variability, with robust growth in specific high-value segments while traditionally popular segments have faced reductions. This variability might reflect changing economic conditions, technological advancements, and shifts in agricultural practices, suggesting that stakeholders need to adapt to the evolving demands and preferences of the farming community.

Trust Retain Media For Automotive Insights

Although the decline in small machine sales may seem like a concerning sign for the agricultural industry, it could also just be evidence of the market rebalancing, as small players and hobbyist farmers drift out in response to economic pressures. While we can’t say for certain, we will continue to monitor the developments and update you in our next quarterly summary.

For more insights on the state of the Australian automotive industry, be sure to read our other reports on the truck, caravan, and motorcycle industries.

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