The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has released its February numbers, and although they are showing a mixed bag in both the U.S. Canada, combine sales have spiked.
And not just by a small increase either — a whopping 247 per cent year-over-year increase in Canada, and a 165 per cent bump in the U.S.
Curt Blades, senior vice president of AEM, was on hand at Commodity Classic at Orlando, Florida, to discuss the state of the equipment industry.
Although Blades says he doesn’t have a firm answer on the why for the recent combine spike, he says often times when you see events like this in large equipment and combines, it’s a pretty good indication of optimism around the farm community.
“Specifically, when we look at combines, there’s been some well publicized supply chain issues that may have caused some of that demand to be shifted into different months. So I think that certainly can be a factor. But I think there’s also sort of the reality that you know, we’re starting the 2023 crop here, and everyone wants to be prepared to take advantage of the best technology that they can be, to be as efficient on their operations as they can possibly be,” he explains. (Story continues below video)
As far as struggles across then supply chain, Blades says they are very real — whether we are talking about a combine, a pickup truck, or a pinball machine. He is holding on to some optimism, however, as component manufacturers are indicating some light at the end of the tunnel towards the end of this year, as the rough spots get ironed out.
“We’re seeing some relief on the shipping side, we’re seeing some rebounds on the steel side,” Blades notes. “But the reality is, at the heart of the supply chain challenge, is a labour shortage. And that labour shortage is real, and it’s probably not going to go away anytime soon. So the short answer to a long questions is supply chain challenges are where we would expect them to kind of be with us for a little bit longer.”
Looking forward through 2023, Blades says there are some storm clouds out there, but there is a lot of optimism across the industry.
“There’s the potential maybe for a little bit of softness in 2023, as it compares to 2022 and 2021. But I still remain optimistic that it’s going to continue to be a good year for agriculture.”
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