Tractor and Combine SalesRecently released AEM ag tractor and combine sales data indicates good days are ahead for both the agriculture and manufacturing industries, yet lingering concerns remain heading into the second quarter of the year.

According to an AEM report released Tuesday, total U.S. 2-wheel drive tractor sales gained 4 percent for March compared to last year, while 4-wheel-drive tractor sales dropped 5 percent and self-propelled combine sales declined 20 percent.

“As we close the first quarter of 2018, we are still cautiously optimistic for continued growth this year, but it’s tempered by uncertainty in the farm economy,” said AEM Senior Vice President of Ag Services Curt Blades.

First-quarter 2018 U.S. sales were essentially flat for the smaller-size tractors, and 100-plus HP 2-wheel drive tractors declined about 5 percent for January-March year-to-date, compared to 2017.

“We are still contending with diplomatic jockeying over steel tariffs and China trade that is causing concern for the agriculture and manufacturing communities,” said Blades. “Headwinds also include potential negative changes to the Renewable Fuels Standard. And, overall, we’re looking at the USDA forecast of a decline in 2018 net farm profits.

“Many farmers will still need to replace equipment at some point for longer term efficiencies, and we are still hopeful that tax reform could provide a positive stimulus,” he added.

Other takeaways from AEM’s latest ag tractor and combine sales report include:

  • Retail sales of 2WD farm tractors in Canada were down 1.2 percent in March, compared to the same time a year ago.
  • Sales of 4WD farm tractors fell 7.3 percent last month, compared to March of 2017.
  • Retail sales of self-propelled combines in Canada were down 1.3 percent in March, compared to the same time in 2017.

View the latest market data from AEM here

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