Eastern buyers seek WA used machinery

Eastern buyers seek WA used machinery

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 There is strong demand for farm machinery in WA from the Eastern States. INSET: FM&IA executive officer John Henchy.

There is strong demand for farm machinery in WA from the Eastern States. INSET: FM&IA executive officer John Henchy.

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It wasn't just WA livestock that the Eastern States farmers were after when the drought broke in 2019.

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IT wasn't just WA livestock that the Eastern States farmers were after when the drought broke in 2019.

Farm Machinery and Industry Association of WA (FM&IA) executive officer John Henchy said farmers in the east were also after "anything of good quality" in terms of used farm machinery.

He said truckloads of tractors, harvesters, sprayers, seeders and other used farm machinery have been seen making the trip east for the past 12 months.

"Over the past 12 months or so - as soon as they had a decent season - the trucks were taking machinery across," Mr Henchy said.

"Not just animals - machinery as well - particularly good quality used equipment."

Mr Henchy said a huge amount went east just prior to harvest 2020.

"I would suggest it came down to availability," he said.

"They've had four years of drought and (possibly) a used equipment shortage you could argue, whereas we've had a couple of good years.

"I guess they are speaking with their money."

FM&IA executive officer John Henchy.

FM&IA executive officer John Henchy.

While there would be freight costs which buyers had to pay, Mr Henchy said it was generally not as expensive to truck from west to east as it was the other way.

"Bringing stuff in from the Eastern States is not cheap but freighting west to east is not too bad," he said.

"To move the equipment they would also have to have purpose-built trucks."

FM&IA chairman Brad Forrester, AFGRI Esperance, said since May-June 2020 the demand had been up, which has "almost exhausted our stock".

They had sold 30 machines in that time.

It had "heavily impacted the local market for used machinery," Mr Forrester said.

"It's been a bit of a mixed bag (in terms of what they were after).

"We had a few harvesters go over last year before September so we created a bit of a network and they have been after air seeders, tractors and sprayers.

"About half our enquiries have been from WA and half from the Eastern States.

"And that's a much bigger market."

Mr Forrester agreed that interest in WA machinery was due to the availability of the machines as well as being priced competitively with their Eastern States competitors - especially when factoring in transport and biosecurity cleaning fees.

He said broadacre farming practices were becoming more similar across the country and so WA spec machines were becoming more suitable for Eastern States practices.

Mr Forrester said undertaking bio cleans was an extra cost which was good for the local suppliers.

AFGRI Esperance had already taken forward orders for new machines and that would give them the opportunity to sell on the traded in units to potential buyers from the east in coming months.

Mr Henchy said the outlook for the farm machinery industry in WA was good, especially with rain following on from the recent ex-Tropical Cyclone Seroja rain which many broadacre farmers received.

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