U.S. 4-wheel drive tractor sales a bright spot for October, says latest AEM data

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Farm Forum

MILWAUKEE, November 15, 2016 – For October, U.S. retail sales of 4-wheel tractors rebounded and sales dipped for the smaller 2WD tractors under 40HP and 40-100HP; however, the pace of year-to-date sales remained the same with production agriculture machines still in double-digit decline, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the leading trade group for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

October U.S. sales of 4WD tractors (year over year) gained 19.7 percent (compared to minus 17.9 percent September Y/Y), and year-to-date sales improved to a minus 24.4 percent (compared to minus 32.4 percent for September year-to-date numbers).

U.S. retail sales for 2WD tractors under 40HP gained 7.3 percent for October (compared to plus 16.8 percent September Y/Y), and their October year-to-date sales were the only machines in positive territory with 11.2-percent growth. October sales of 2WD tractors 40-100HP were down 1.6 percent year-over-year (compared to plus 3.9 percent September Y/Y), and down 4.1 percent October year to date.

U.S. sales of 2WD 100+HP tractors dropped 21.3 percent for October, and were down 22.5 percent October year to date. And October U.S. combine sales declined 34.9 percent with October year-to-date sales dropping 25.5 percent.

“Starting the last quarter of 2016, we continue to face a challenging environment with a slower global economy, overall slumping commodity prices, and weak exports negatively affecting equipment sales, said Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president.

“While we saw a significant bump in the sales of 4WD farm tractors this month, the uptick is unlikely to signal a change in the overall trends. The increase in sales during the October period is quite seasonal and while this year was no exception, the 4WD tractor October numbers are still far below pre-downturn years,” O’Brien added.