Sonalika in festive mood, as tractor demand expected to remain buoyant

Published: Oct 20, 2020, 3:42 pm IST

New Delhi:  Driven by the prevailing market sentiment, tractor major Sonalika is hopeful of healthy sales during the festive season.

Notably, the tractor segment has bucked the Covid-19 downtrend.

On its part, India’s largest tractor exporter — Sonalika — has registered an overall growth of 5 per cent in Q1.

In June, the company reported a 55 per cent growth, which increased to 71.7 per cent in July and subsequently attained highest ever rise in sales of 80 per cent in August.

Last month, it sold 17,704 units with a 51.4 per cent domestic growth.

In a conversation with IANS, Raman Mittal, Executive Director, Sonalika Group said he expects the farmers’ sentiments to remain positive.

“The demand is expected to remain healthy, kindled by higher kharif sowing and a good monsoon coupled with increasing preference of farmers towards mechanisation,” Mittal said.

“The festive season is mostly the time when farmers are willing to spend more while looking for competitive deals, and thus we expect the growth trajectory to continue in the festive season.”

Accordingly, Mittal pointed out that Sonalika is prepared for the festive season as it contributes around 40-45 per cent of the company’s overall annual volumes.

“Looking at the same, our channel partners have already stocked up for the upcoming festive season and have facilitated easy financing options,” he said.

According to Mittal, tractor demand has picked up momentum on account of higher ‘Minimum Support Price’ as well as bountiful monsoons and bumper sowing of summer crops.

“Alongside, rains have also made a surprising revisit in various parts of the country that has set up a decent ground for healthy agriculture activities later this year as well as instil confidence in farmers to aim at increased farm output,” he cited.

In terms of production, Sonalika’s manufacturing was not impacted significantly due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

The company makes majority of components that go into the manufacturing of a tractor at its facility in Hoshiarpur, Punjab.

“In fact, we had reached 80 per cent utilisation in fourth week of May itself and have been operating at an optimum level,” Mittal said.

On farm mechanisation, he said the pandemic triggered lockdown has further fuelled Indian farmer’s progress towards farm mechanisation.

“Farm mechanisation penetration in India stands at an average of 45 per cent for the entire crop cycle,” he said.

“The lockdowns due to the pandemic led to a huge movement of labour towards their respective native lands and thus farmers faced a lot of labour shortage across regions. I would say the pandemic has further fuelled this trend.”

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