U.S. Smaller-Tractor Sales Rebound in August

AEM Manufacturer Trade Group Provides Commentary

U.S. retail sales of tractors under 40HP and 40-100HP rebounded in August, while sales of the larger tractors as well as combines continued their double-digit declines, according to the latest monthly data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the leading trade organization for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

U.S. retail sales for 2WD tractors under 40HP gained 21.2 percent in August compared to a 6.3 percent decline in July, with year-to-date sales up 11.0 percent.

While August sales of 2WD tractors 40-100HP were down 0.7 percent, that compares to a 23.3 percent decline for July, improving the still-negative year-to-date numbers slightly to a minus 5.3 percent.

Monthly sales of the larger tractors and combines fluctuated a little from July, but the pace of year-to-date sales in August was virtually unchanged compared to July:

  • ​Sales of 2WD 100+HP tractors in the U.S. dropped 27.0 percent for August, with August year-to-date sales down 24.2 percent (down 24.0 percent July YTD)
  • August 4WD tractor sales declined 48.1 percent year-over-year and were down 33.7 percent for August year-to-date (down 33.6 percent July YTD)
  • Combine sales declined 22.4 percent for August and recorded a 22.1 percent drop for August year-to-date (down 22.0 percent July YTD)

Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president, provided some insights:

“Growth in the under 40HP tractor segment was strong for August and farm tractors in the 40-100 HP range once again reversed their monthly trend. When combined, these two segments outperformed their 5-year average (2011-2015), mainly driven by the smaller equipment, however.

“The numbers for mid-size equipment, specifically that related to livestock, are not unexpected; in our quarterly North American agricultural equipment industry conditions survey for Q2 2016, falling livestock prices were associated with falling equipment demand.

“The 100+HP 2WD tractors and 4WD tractors combined are underperforming their 5-year average.

“Earlier in the year we felt that the market was stabilizing, but as we pass the midpoint of 2016, we continue to see the smaller equipment is thriving overall while the larger production ag equipment remains depressed.”

Source: Association of Equipment Manufacturers news release