Canadian farm equipment sales continue to slide through the end of April

Unit sales of agricultural tractors and self-propelled combines in April 2020 rose in the U.S., according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). This puts total unit sales year-to-date roughly flat with 2019, while the Canadian numbers show continued weakness compared to 2019.

For Canada, April tractor sales fell across all segments except mid-range units (40-100 hp), leading to an overall decline of tractor sales of 5.7 per cent, with self-propelled combines following along losing 29.9 per cent. That puts overall farm tractors down 13.1 per cent for 2020 year-to-date and combines down 34.6 percent in Canada.

U.S. total farm tractor sales rose 12.3 percent in April compared to 2019 while U.S. April self-propelled combine sales inched up 4.1 percent. Only heavy-duty (100+ hp, articulated 4WD) tractors declined in unit sales in the U.S. That puts total YTD sales of all farm tractor units down 0.6 per cent for 2020, and combines down 10.1 per cent in the same period.

“When you look at March and April sales together, instead of seeing a month of significant year-over-year declines followed by a month of healthy gains, you should instead see two months that performed as expected given the current situation.” said Curt Blades, senior vice president of Ag Services at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “The COVID-19 crisis is certainly causing some uncertainty in farm income and ag equipment purchases for the balance of the year.”

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