Data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) shows farm tractor sales in January improved almost 5 percent while sales of combines fell by 24 percent compared to January of 2019. Total sales of two-wheel-drive tractors grew during January by a total of 4.9 percent, while the total number of four-wheel-drive tractor sales fell 6.6 percent to 169 units sold. Sales of combines in January equaled 198 units, down from 262 units sold in January, 2019.
Figure 2 plots the tractor and combine sales since 2017 along with a five-year average. The seasonality of sales is striking. Presumably, the spike is sales in April through June is due to purchases of tractors related to planting season. And, the spike in October no doubt is due to the purchase of equipment for harvest. Another striking feature is how consistent sales have been over the past five years with little variation from year-to-year. The AEM is hopeful the approval of the USMCA and the Phase 1 trade agreement with China mean positive trends on the horizon for ag equipment sales.
Figure 2. U.S. Retails Sales, Tractors & Combines
Source: Association of Equipment Manufacturers