Numbers See Some Stability, Canada Experiences Sharp Declines
As the trade wars continue to wage in the United States, farm equipment sales numbers mirror the uncertainty within the industry. U.S. sales saw minimal growth in most categories while Canada dropped in all but two, according to the latest AEM sales data. In the U.S., total 2-wheel-drive tractor sales increased by a slight 1.6 percent compared to May of 2018. Broken down by horsepower, under-40-HP tractors experienced a small .7 percent growth, 40-100-HP tractor sales grew 2.9 percent and 100-plus-HP tractors saw a 8.6 percent growth in sales.
Likewise, total 4-wheel-drive tractor sales increased by 1.6 percent compared to May of 2018 and 6.3 percent for year-to-date sales from 2018. Overall, total farm tractor sales experienced a minimal 1.6 percent growth which was essentially overshadowed by the 13 percent drop in sales for self-propelled combines.
While U.S. numbers may have seen slight increases, Canada saw major decreases, raising concern at AEM. Sales of under-40-HP and 100-plus-HP 2-wheel-drive tractors were the only categories that experienced growth for Canada. The rest of the categories declined in sales with some seeing drop-offs as bad as 20.8 percent for 40-100-hp tractors and 56.4 percent for total 4-wheel-drive tractors.
“While numbers were up for the U.S. in May, the ongoing trade war has us concerned about the direction they may take in coming months,” said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, ag services. “Free trade is critical to keeping the U.S. economy and our industry strong. Especially when you consider 30 percent of the equipment manufactured in the U.S. each year is ear marked for export.”