The Association of Equipment Manufacturers' (AEM) latest "U.S. Ag Tractor & Combine Report," providing November numbers, shows little change in year-to-date growth from the previous month’s year-to-date totals, with sales of tractors under 40 hp the only category in positive territory. AEM is the leading trade group for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
November U.S. retail sales of farm tractors under 40 hp were up 22.6% compared to last year, with year-to-date gains of 11.7%. U.S. retail sales of 40-100 hp, two-wheel-drive (2WD) tractors declined 5.0% in November and were down 4.2% year to date.
November sales of 100 hp-plus, 2WD tractors in the U.S. declined 27.1% year over year, with year-to-date sales down 22.7%, while four-wheel-drive (4WD) tractors dropped 4.2% year over year and were down 23.3% year to date.
Combine sales in November declined 30.0% year over year, with year-to-date sales down 25.7%.
“The smaller tractors under 40 hp are tracking well above their five-year average, and while tractors 40-100 hp have underperformed compared to the previous year, these still straddle their respective five-year average, indicating continued demand for small and midsize farm tractors,” AEM senior vice president Charlie O’Brien said.
While demand for tractors of less than 100 hp "is linked to the livestock segment, hobby farmers and housing, the relatively strong incomes in the livestock sub-segment that helped support the demand are expected to become subdued over the next year,” O’Brien noted.
He added that sales of the larger production agriculture tractors (2WD and 4WD, 100 hp-plus units) "continue to show negative trends. With no improvement in crop receipts forecasted for 2016 compared to 2015 and subdued commodity prices, the (U.S. Department of Agriculture) expects the current downturn to continue into 2017.”