Waning inventories a possible explanation for lower tractor sales: AEM

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North American tractor sales were down in June as new tractor inventories dwindled, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s (AEM) latest monthly report.

After strong small tractor sales in 2020, the <40 horsepower category led the year-over-year decline in the U.S. and Canada, while sales of 100+ horsepower tractors were higher in both countries compared with last June.

“The strength in the bigger row-crop units shows conditions in farm country remain positive, indicating a good-looking crop in the field and the promise of good commodity markets,” noted Curt Blades, AEM’s Senior Vice President of Ag Services.

Canada

AEM says monthly tractor and combine sales in Canada for the month of June were “a mixed bag” — the <40hp and combine segments declined versus last year, while sales were up for larger 2WD and 4WD machines. The biggest growth was in the 100+ hp 2WD category, up 70 per cent, with 343 units sold.

Total farm tractor sales in Canada for June were down slightly, three per cent, the first year-over-year decrease in 2021 (see graph below).

Year-to-date tractor sales in Canada, as of the end of June, were still 36.3 per cent higher than last year, with combine sales up 20.3 per cent.

(source: AEM)

U.S.

Total farm tractor sales in the U.S., meanwhile, fell 12.7 per cent in June compared to 2020, while combine sales rose 4.1 per cent. Leading the tractor decline was the <40hp category, falling 18.4 per cent, followed by a small decline in the 41 to 100 hp segment, down 3.1 per cent. All other categories were positive.

Year-to-date farm tractor sales in the U.S. remain up 16.7 per cent and combines up 11 per cent.

Declining inventories

AEM says declining inventories may explain some of the downward pressure on sales.

The industry group says new farm tractor inventory in Canada for June was down 33.2 per cent from June 2020. U.S. total farm tractor inventory was 41.3 per cent below June 2020 levels.

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