Going for broke

25 Jun, 2008 11:19 AM
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WA machinery dealers have committed forward ordering more than $150 million of new machinery for 2009 to ensure a supply for the state's farmers.

As the season hangs in the balance, with good rains badly needed, farmers are being urged to contact dealers to discuss their machinery requirements.

Geraldton Case IH dealer principal Steve Purcher said dealers gambled every year on forward ordering machinery stock.

"It's an annual process because you've got to have some product on hand to run the business," he said.

"In this game things can turn quickly and like this year, if it rains, we could be swamped with orders so you've got to weigh up what reasonable levels of inventory are needed."

Mr Purcher said while global supply is tightening, the US war effort for Iraq remains a big factor in lead times between ordering equipment and delivery.

Dalwallinu John Deere principal Ken Jolly said that if dealers hadn't taken the initiative to forward order, farmers would have missed out because of the strong global demand for equipment.

"It's a business and you've just to keep making business decisions whether the market is up or down," he said.

"We've ordered everything we can get on the theory that farmers need to replace equipment and now we're waiting for farmers to come in and order.

"It's a funny game because if we had got an inch of rain last week I reckon we would have been inundated with orders.

"As it stands, farmers are reticent to make a move because they want to wait for the rain but like any business you've got to assess your future needs.

"This is a cyclical business and there will be an upturn but the question will be availability of equipment.

"We've got some stock coming in every month but for combine harvesters, for example, our next shipment is scheduled for January or February 2009.

"We can't supply for 2008 now."

New Holland branch manager Craig Forrester, McIntosh and Son, said good rains would determine the fate of many dealers.

"We're committed to stock we have ordered but farmers are sitting on the fence at the moment," he said.

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