As the U.S. government continues to wage trade wars, farm equipment sales numbers mirror the uncertainty within the industry. Sales in the U.S. saw minimal growth in most categories, while sales in Canada dropped in all but two, according to the latest sales data from the Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
In the U.S., total two-wheel-drive tractor sales increased by a slight 1.6% compared to May 2018. Broken out by horsepower, under-40 hp tractors experienced just 0.7% growth, 40-100 hp tractor sales grew 2.9% and 100 hp-plus tractors saw 8.6% growth in sales.
Likewise, May 2019 four-wheel-drive tractor sales increased 1.6% compared to May 2018, and year-to-date sales rose 6.3% from 2018. Overall, total farm tractor sales experienced a minimal 1.6% growth, which was essentially overshadowed by the 13% 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 hp-plus two-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% for 40-100 hp tractors and 56.4% for total four-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,” AEM senior vice president, ag services, Curt Blades said. “Free trade is critical to keeping the U.S. economy and our industry strong, especially when you consider 30% of the equipment manufactured in the U.S. each year is earmarked for export.”