Midyear U.S. tractor and combine sales: Overall market tracks ahead of 5-year average, says AEM

Farm Forum

MILWAUKEE – Overall U.S. retail sales of ag tractors and combines continued to beat the 5-year average as 2016 hit the midyear mark, with smaller tractors still the sales leader, according to data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the leading trade organization for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

June U.S. retail sales of farm tractors under 40HP were up 3 percent compared to last year, with year-to-date gains of 12.7 percent. U.S. retail sales for 2WD tractors of 40-100HP increased 2.8 percent in June but were down 1.1 percent year to date.

Sales of 2WD 100+HP tractors in the U.S. declined 21.6 percent for June, with year-to-date sales down 23.9 percent, while 4WD tractors dropped 34.3 percent year-over-year and were down 31.3 percent year-to-date.

Combine sales were in the plus column for June with 8-percent growth but year-to-date sales still lagged at minus 23.3 percent.

“We have passed the midyear mark for 2016 and overall, tractor sales continue to show downward trends in the larger horsepower categories but when combined with the unit sales of smaller hp tractors, total tractor sales are tracking above the 5-year average,” said Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president.

“While there have been monthly year-over-year fluctuations, currently the positive end of the market is still geared toward smaller equipment sales, which are tied to hobby farmers, landscaping (housing) and livestock. The larger production ag machinery continues to experience double-digit declines.

“Looking later into 2016 and going into 2017, it is important to consider the 2016 farm income forecasts, where the USDA foresees lower livestock receipts and higher crop receipts.”