WA dealers cash in on east’s need

Kate MatthewsCountryman

Eastern states farmers are still in the hunt for good quality second-hand WA machinery as dealers forecast shortages of new product.

On the top of the buying list has been combines in preparation for harvest as well as tractors, sprayers and tillage gear.

Local dealers say it is positive news for producers wanting to trade in and upgrade.

McIntosh and Son Katanning branch manager Devon Gilmour said for the past eight months their two prime movers had averaged two trips a month delivering machinery to Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

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In some cases, it had been necessary to engage other freight companies to help with deliveries.

Mr Gilmour said it was a case of eastern states producers buying quality used gear from WA after a decade of tough seasons and little investment in machinery.

It had also meant that gear unsuitable for WA and old technology and implements had found a new market.

And if the positive seasonal conditions continue, Mr Gilmour believes the window of opportunity will stay open.

“The advantage for everyone is that it’s not necessarily pushing trade prices up, but it’s certainly held them, otherwise we would have a very deflated used market in WA, ” he said.

Farmers Centre Esperance dealer principal Graham Wells said most inquires had been over the phone and on the internet where producers can check photographs.

“It’s giving us another outlet to sell second-hand machinery, ” Mr Wells said. “I don’t think it’s affected prices too much because eastern states buyers have to pay for cleaning and freight.”

He estimated the cost to clean a header was $10,000 and freight, depending on size, could be $8000.

Greenline Ag managing director Mike Hutton said they had started advertising in the east in the last fortnight to sell harvesters and tractors.

“I don’t believe there will be a premium like there was pre-Christmas, but in saying that, the deals on offer, certainly from John Deere, are as good as I’ve seen them, especially with the currency and the way it’s been, ” he said.

With new combines in short supply, Agriview market analyst Alan Kirsten believes it will put further pressure on the used market.

He has tracked the movement of second-hand machinery for the past 12 months and believes WA still has the most combines on the market.

Mr Kirsten said buyers wanting new combines needed to plan their purchases because orders were already being taken for next year and a similar situation was occurring for high horsepower tractors.

“Supply is still an important issue, ” he said. “We are still feeling the impact of the global financial crisis and the pick-up in agriculture worldwide has put pressure on manufacturers and component suppliers.

“There is a shortage of machinery and it’s set to continue.”

Mr Hutton also said producers who wanted new equipment needed to start ordering early.

“It’s easy for us to say you have to order early, but if you don’t you are limited in what you can get, if you can get it, ” he said.

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