There is considerable economic concern in Canada and the U.S. due to COVID-19, but for the agricultural equipment industry, economic concerns began months earlier. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers has released its March Flash Report, and it paints a poor first-quarter for agricultural equipment deliveries in Canada and the U.S.
In Canada, (report below) AEM is reporting total 2WD drive tractor sales are down 15.3%, 4WD tractors down 37.3% and combines down 37.1% in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019.
The U.S. numbers for Q1 2020 are down across the board for all categories but less than Canada’s.
For the first quarter, 2WD tractors are down 7.6%, 4WD tractors are down 7.1% and combines are down 18.1% compared to a year ago. The March numbers reflect a down turn compared to the three month comparison.
As you look at the first quarter numbers which capture deliveries for equipment that was ordered prior to COVID-19, it has to be expected that the rest of 2020 will look worse from this point. In late March, CNH pulled its earnings forecast and will release a revision in the coming month. John Deere reported earnings in February that were higher than expected.