A report on sales of small and large tractors released in May by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) showed that the sale of small tractors under 40 HP remained high, while the sales of larger tractors continue to lag. The trade organization for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers also released a report in June that showed similar results, with sales of farm tractors under 40 HP up 3% compared to last year, and a year-to-date gain of 12.7%. Meanwhile, June U.S. retail sales for 2WD tractors ranging from 40 to 100HP increased 2.8% since last year, but were down 1.1% year to date.
Now, as 2016 hit the midyear mark, AEM reports that the overall U.S. retail sales of ag tractors and combines in the months of 2016 continue to beat the 5-year average, with small tractors continuing to lead sales.
Meanwhile, June sales of 2WD 100+HP tractors in the U.S. declined 21.6% since last year, with year-to-date sales down 23.9%; 4WD tractors dropped 34.3% year-over-year and were down 31.3% year-to-date.
As for June combine sales, they experienced 8% growth compared to last year, but year-to-date sales still lagged at -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.”