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September a solid month for tractor, combine sales

Progressive Forage Editor Dave Natzke Published on 16 October 2019

September was a fairly solid month overall for retail sales of tractors and combines in the U.S. but to a lesser degree in Canada, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

"The numbers continue to remain solid, both in the U.S. and Canada, and are fueled by the replacement market," said Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president of ag services. "However, we continue to hear from our members real concerns about the overall ag economy.

"As farmers begin the delayed harvest season, both weather uncertainty and outstanding trade negotiations are weighing heavily on their minds," he continued. "We remain hopeful, however, that ratification of the USMCA will help alleviate some of the uncertainty surrounding the ag market."

Compared to a year earlier, September 2019 U.S. sales of combines and two-wheel-drive tractors were up, but sales of four-wheel-drive tractors were lower. A summary of September and year-to-date U.S. sales follows:

  • Total U.S. sales of two-wheel-drive tractors were up about 19% at 19,940, with year-to-date sales up almost 5% at 188,823. Within the category, monthly sales of 100-plus horsepower tractors rose more than 19% compared to a year earlier to 1,681; year-to-date sales edged 3.4% ahead of a year ago at 13,167. Sales of two-wheel-drive tractors in the 40- to 100-horsepower category were up 21% to 5,450 in September; year-to-date sales were up about 1% at 45,040. Tractors under 40 horsepower improved 18% to 12,089; year-to-date sales were up 6% at 130,616.

  • Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors were down about 5% from a year earlier at 308. However, year-to-date sales in this category hit 1,947, up more than 9% from January-September 2018.

  • Sales of self-propelled combines totaled 586 in September 2019, up about 12% from a year earlier; year-to-date 2019 sales hit 3,620, about 2% more than the same period a year earlier. Nearly 1,600 combines remain in inventory.

In Canada, September 2019 sales of four-wheel-drive tractors and self-propelled combines were softer, down 20.5% and 25.5%, respectively, from the same month a year earlier. Sales of two-wheel-drive tractors improved across all sizes: up 19% for under 40 horsepower, up 9% for 40 to 100 horsepower and up 5% for 100-plus horsepower. Year to date, only sales of the smallest tractors are ahead of a year ago.

AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the U.S. supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.  end mark

Dave Natzke
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