The highest performing categories of U.S. tractor sales continue to shift from small units, those under 100 hp, to larger tractors more compatible with production agriculture. According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), July 2022 sales of two-wheel drive tractors (2WD), 100 hp-plus rose 22.8% compared to July 2021. By the actual numbers, manufacturers sold 465 more 100 hp tractors in July than July 2021 (2,505 units sold this July; 2,040 sold in July 2021).
AEM's analysis for four-wheel drive (4WD) tractor sales found a similar result. Sales in the July just past rose 21.8% over July 2021. In total, that meant the U.S. farm tractor industry moved 62 more 4WD units this past July than a year ago (347 sold in July 2022; 285 sold in July 2021).
Compare these recent sales of smaller tractors. July sales of tractors 40 hp and below were down 27.9% from a year ago. Similarly, sales of tractors 40-100 hp were down 16.3 in July 2022 compared to July 2021. In much of 2020 and 2021, these smaller tractors were the stars of ag tractor manufacturing, sales rising by double digits month after month. Historically, sales of smaller tractors remain fairly strong, still. But in more recent months, sales of 100 hp and below tractors have cooled when viewed as a whole market segment, but not necessarily a result seen currently by each manufacturer.
"Right now, the trends we're seeing in farm equipment unit sales tracks with trends we're seeing in the overall economy," says Curt Blades, senior vice president, industry sectors and product leadership at AEM. "The segments that are still positive, harvesters and row-crop tractors, are high-dollar units. Farmers don't invest in this kind of equipment unless they feel certain enough future markets will allow them to pay for them." AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide.
U.S. combine sales for this July came in at 715 units, compared to 655 in July 2021. That's up 9.2% year-over-year and comes in as the second straight month of sales increases. More, combine sales may be pulling even with their sales in 2021. Combine unit sales are down only 2.2% through July this year compared to the first seven months of 2021.
For the year, total U.S. tractor sales lag 2021, drug down by the sales performance of 100 hp tractors and below. Total farm tractor sales--all horsepower ranges--are down 14.8% year-to-date compared to the same period in 2021. But commercial-sized units are doing better than the whole in 2022. For the year so far, 100 hp-plus, 2WD drive tractors are up 12.3% over the same span in 2021. Sales of the largest 4WD units are down, but by only 5.7%.
AEM's full July 2022 Ag Tractor and Combine Report can be found at:
Dan Miller can be reached at email@example.com
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