Small tractor sales slip in July but still market leader

Farm Forum

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – While U.S. retail sales of farm tractors under 40HP in July declined 6.3 percent, the year-to-date total was up 9.8 percent compared to last year, according to the latest monthly data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the leading trade organization for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

U.S. retail sales for 2WD tractors 40-100HP declined 23.3 percent in July and were down 6.1 percent year-to-date.

Sales of 2WD 100+HP tractors in the U.S. declined 24.9 percent for July, with year-to-date sales down 24.0 percent, while 4WD tractors dropped 48.3 percent year-over-year and were down 33.6 percent year-to-date.

Combine sales declined 16.2 percent for July and recorded a 22.0 percent drop for year-to-date sales.

Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president, provided some insights:

“The good news is that overall retail sales for small hp tractors are still above the 5-year trends.

“For the under 40 HP tractors, this is the first time in 2016 that we have seen negative year-over-year comparison for the month. For 40-100HP tractors, while 2016 year-over-year sales have fluctuated, the July decline appears to be significantly higher, and a drop this large has not been seen since October 2009.

“For combines, the positive growth in sales last month compared to the same month last year was not sustainable, as we are back in negative territory; sales of larger production ag equipment continue their negative trend of the past year.”

“Overall with half of the year behind us, I would say we continue to see this as a challenging year.”