Small Tractor Sales Bolster Overall Market

Kelly MarshallAEM, Agribusiness, Equipment, Machinery, Tractor

aemGiven the climate for commodity prices, its not surprising to hear that sales for 2WD tractors over 100HP in the first quarter were down nearly 40 percent, compared to 2015.  The good new is the sale of under 40HP tractors is strong enough to offset the declines in larger equipment, says a report from Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).  The total retail sales of 2WD and 4WD tractors and combines is currently tracking higher than both last year’s levels and the 5-year average.

U.S. retail sales of farm tractors under 40HP were up 33.2 percent for March 2016 and up 26.1 percent year-to-date, compared to the same time periods last year. Retail sales for 2WD tractors of 40-100HP increased 10.1 percent in March compared to last year, bringing year-to-date growth to a positive 3.2 percent.

However, first-quarter 2016 sales of 2WD tractors over 100HP declined 32.9 percent, and January-March 2016 sales of 4WD tractors dropped 38.2 percent, compared to first-quarter 2015. Combine sales were down 14.7 percent for first-quarter 2016 compared to last year.

“Sales of the compact utility tractors have continued to benefit from their broader customer base used in small acreage farms in addition to some livestock applications,” said Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president.

“While some segments may show signs of leveling off or stabilizing, sales of the larger production equipment are still showing significant downward trends from last year; the marketplace is still experiencing the effects of persistent lower commodity prices and higher used-equipment inventories,” said O’Brien.