Although tractor sales jumped 35.5% month on month in September to 623 units from 460 units in August, sales were still down 2.2% year on year, according to the South African Agricultural Machinery Association (Saama).

Tractor sales have been hurt this year due to uncertainty about crop yields and exchange rates, if the weather had transitioned from a dry El Niño global cycle to a wet La Niña cycle, land restitution issues and farm-worker shares in farms.

"Fundamentals underpinning the market have not changed much in the last month. In regard to rainfall prospects, with the El Niño effect having given way to a weak La Niña effect, the country is in a better situation in terms of prospects for the forthcoming summer cropping season than it was 12 months ago," Saama said.

"However, general rain is required over all the summer cropping regions, with some of the areas, particularly those in the east, requiring rain within the next three weeks," the industry body said.

Sales are down 13.7% year on year in the first nine months of 2016, dropping 12.2% to 5,673 units for the whole of 2015. Current industry forecasts for the 2016 calendar year are that tractor sales will be between 15% and 20% lower than last year.

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