As the trade wars continue to wage in the United States, farm equipment sales numbers mirror the uncertainty within the industry. U.S. sales saw minimal growth in most categories while Canada dropped in all but two, according to the latest AEM sales data.
In the U.S., total 2-wheel-drive tractor sales increased by a slight 1.6% compared to May of 2018. Broken down by horsepower, under-40 hp tractors experienced a small 0.7% growth, 40-100 hp tractor sales grew 2.9% and 100-plus hp tractors saw an 8.6% growth in sales.
Likewise, total 4-wheel-drive tractor sales increased by 1.6% compared to May of 2018 and 6.3% for year-to-date sales 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-plus hp 2-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 4-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,” says Curt Blades, AEM Senior Vice President, Ag Services. “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 ear marked for export.”