'Remain concerned': AEM February report shows Canadian machine sales slipping

The senior vice president, of ag services with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) says he remains concerned about Canadian sales for the month of February.

Self-propelled combines were up by 25 per cent, while two-wheel-drive tractors under 40 horse power were up by 23 per cent.

“We remain concerned about some of the Canadian numbers in February’s report,” says Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president, ag services.

“We hope that the new U.S. farm bill will provide more certainty for farmers as they plan ahead. However, we are still facing a lack of real, sustained progress on trade agreements and ending retaliatory tariffs.”

Compared to the same time last year, two-wheel-drive tractor sales as a whole were only up 0.2 per cent. To break it down further, two-wheel-drive tractors between 40 and 100 horse power dipped 14 percent while two-wheel-drive tractors with 100 plus horse power dropped by 37.3 per cent.

The biggest hit however came in sales of four wheel drive tractors. In Canada, those sales dropped by a whopping 75 per cent. As of this time last year, 92 were sold while as of the end of February only 23 were sold.

In the U.S., total February two-wheel-drive tractor sales grew 17.3 per cent compared to February 2018, led by under 40 horse power machines with a 24.6-per cent gain and a 7.1-per cent gain for 40 to 100 horse power 2-wheel-drive tractors, while 100-plus-HP two-wheel-drive tractors recorded a drop of 2.2 per cent.

“We’re encouraged to hear USDA estimates that net farm income is expected to increase slightly in 2019 after last year’s declines; hopefully that signifies some optimism in the U.S. as the year moves forward,” Blades added.

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