Whether it is due to COVID-19, depressed commodity prices, or other uncertainties, it has been a rough six months for agricultural machinery sales. The month of June, however, has shone a brighter light for new machinery deliveries in Canada.
In Canada, 2WD tractors were up 32.1% in the month of June compared to the same time last year, while year-to-date sales are up just 0.3% compared to last year. The sharpest rise in June was for 4WD tractors, where sales rose 82.6%, while year-to-date the large horsepower category is still down 17.1% compared to the first six months of 2019. Self-propelled combines saw an increase of 14.4% in the month of June, while year-to-date the category is still down 30.8%.
“We’re seeing more areas of the economy open up from the previous pandemic-related shutdowns, so we’re not entirely surprised some of that pent-up demand is expressing itself right now,” says Curt Blades, senior vice president of ag services at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “However, we’re currently keeping our optimism cautious, as the current state of things with COVID-19 could see a negative impact on demand moving forward. Right now, there is too much uncertainty in COVID-19-related events, and their impact on ag markets, to determine whether or not this trend will continue.”
The U.S. numbers (shown below) continue to show a healthier sales market compared to Canada.