WESTERN PRODUCER — Sales of new combines and two- and four-wheel drive tractors in Canada have tracked above the five-year average so far this year, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.
Canadian sales in these three categories trailed last year’s month-over-month numbers, until August when the number of units sold climbed above the number of machines sold last August.
“The Canadian numbers are a positive sign across the board, year over year. For the month of August, we saw some nice growth in all categories, especially some strength in the percentage of growth of self-propelled combines and articulated four-wheel drive tractors,” said Curt Blades from AEM.
“It’s largely attributed to, I think, some optimism and perhaps some strength in the overall farm economy.”
In Canada, overall sales in tractors were up 7.2 percent in August, gaining in all segments, including four-wheel drive tractors with 64 tractors sold, up 326.7 percent compared to August 2021.
The two-wheel drive segments gained 4.9 percent, led by units with 100 or more horsepower, which grew 43.9 percent.
Combine harvester unit sales grew 33.1 percent to 221 units sold in Canada.
However, year-to-date new farm tractor sales are still down 6.7 percent in Canada and combine sales are down 13.7 percent compared to 2021.
“We’ve seen some nice growth in the overall tractor market for the last couple of years that’s been buoyed largely by the small tractors that are not necessarily going to the farm market,” Blades said.
“In the last eight to 10 months the farm market has been the bright spot in tractor sales. So, I think there is a little bit of pent-up demand. I think we’re still in a bit of a replacement market.”
In the United States, total farm tractor sales are down 14.8 percent year-to-date, while combine harvester unit sales are now positive year-to-date with sales now up 2.7 percent overall.
U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 11.7 percent for the month of August compared to 2021, while U.S. self-propelled combine sales for the month grew 25.8 percent to 790 units sold, making for a three-month growth streak for that segment.
The 100-plus horsepower two-wheel tractor segment was up 11.5 percent in the U.S., while mid-range tractors between 40 and 100 horsepower were down 7.2 percent.
The under 40 h.p. tractor segment led losses, down 16 percent year over year.
“For us hitting that five-year average, that kind of indicates that we’re still above trend for pre-pandemic levels, at least in terms of demand,” Blades said.