December ended with very cold weather across Canada, but overall Canadian tractor and combine sales numbers reported by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) were hot, compared to 2016.
The December 2017 the Association of Equipment Manufacturers Canadian Flash Report shows 2WD farm tractors up 15.1%, 4WD farm tractors up 24.5% and self propelled combines up 23.9% year-to-date in comparison to 2016.
Meanwhile, the U.S. report shows 2WD farm tractors up 4.5%, 4WD farm tractors up 4.9% and self propelled combines up 3.6% year to date in comparison to 2016. Clearly, on a percentage basis the Canadian sales improvement over 2016 has been much stronger.
“When we look at 2017 U.S. retail sales, for the larger ag tractor sales (100+ HP 2WD) we saw some real softening at the beginning of the year but some sizable reversals to end at a negative 8 percent, and 4WD drive tractors and combines ended on a positive note with modest gains. So, while the downturn of 2016 carried over into 2017 it began to reverse as the year progressed,” said AEM Senior VP for Ag Services Curt Blades, describing the U.S. report.
He also said, with U.S. tax reform passed, they are “cautiously optimistic for continued overall improvement in 2018.”
Looking ahead to 2018 here in Canada, there are continued questions on how strong spending will be in the machinery sector, with trade issues with India, crop prices in a slump, and threats of rising interest rates all clouding the farmers willingness step out to acquire new iron.