The South African tractor sales were up by 41% y/y in March 2018, with 726 units sold. This follows a 12% y/y contraction in February. On average, 23 tractors were sold a day last month compared to 21 tractors in February 2018 and 16 tractors a day in March 2017. Given that this is a fairly quiet period in the fields (in both summer and winter crop growing areas), the private sales were expected to have followed a normal trend, but the overall boost could be linked to government tenders ahead of the end of the financial year. The combine harvester sales were also solid, recorded a 9% y/y uptick, with 25 units sold.
Drier and warm weather conditions have kept the US wheat on the back foot. On 08 April 2018, farmers had planted only 2 percent of the intended area for spring wheat, well below the area planted at the corresponding period last year, according to data from the USDA.
It seems that the winter rainfall, which typically starts at the end April in the Western Cape province, could be slightly delayed. The weather charts have cleared across most parts of the province, with light showers expected within the next eight days to be mainly concentrated towards the coastal areas.