Farm tractor unit sales in the U.S. turned positive in June for the first time in 2023, led by increased sales of large tractors. And in good news for manufacturers, a months-long decline in sales of smaller units may be coming to an end. These observations come from new data released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in its monthly Ag Tractor and Combine Report.
Sales of combines were also up in June, compared to sales counted in June 2022.
Gains in tractor sales in June 2023 over June 2022 are led by sales of 100-plus-horsepower, two-wheel-drive units, up 25.4%. Four-wheel-drive unit sales rose 21.9%.
Small-unit tractor sales, those under 100 horsepower, are showing signs of market improvement over June 2022, itself a very poor month of sales compared to June 2021. Sub-40-horsepower two-wheel-drive tractor sales rose 0.2% in June, compared to June 2022. These units represent more than two-thirds of the total tractor sales volume for the month, AEM said. Sales of 40- to less-than-100-horsepower tractors are down 2.7% from June 2022.
Dragged down by small-unit sales, total farm tractor sales are down 9.7% from January through June this year, compared to the same six months in 2022. That's despite a 45.5% gain in January-June sales of four-wheel-drive tractors.
U.S. self-propelled combines notched another gain in June, as sales were up 9.8%. June sales were not as strong as in previous months, but as AEM pointed out, year-to-date unit sales of combines, January through June 2023, are up 51.5% over the same six months in 2022.
"Year-over-year sales comparisons this month are now starting to compare to 2022 sales that were closer to the five-year average, and less informed by the aftereffects of the pandemic," Curt Blades, senior vice president, industry sectors and product leadership at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, said with the release of AEM's June tractor and combine report. "At the same time, the continued strength in larger tractors and combines still owes some to the strength of commodities markets, and the appeal of more efficient technologies available on modern equipment."
Dan Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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