The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has released its flash report for May 2020 new machinery deliveries. The trend from prior months has continued as Canadian sales are down significantly while U.S. sales are more stable to 2019. In both countries the under 40 hour power tractor category has been the strongest in comparison to prior years.
For Canada, May tractor sales fell across most segments, leading to an overall decline of tractor sales of 0.8% in May 2020 versus May 2019, with combines falling 65% to only 41 units sold. Year-to-date sales for Canada show an industry much slower than 2019 after five months. Total 2WD tractor sales are down 8.9%, 4WD tractors are down 23.8% and combines are down 41.1% compared to a year ago.
The U.S. market does look stronger than in Canada but dealers and manufacturers will still likely not be satisfied with the sales environment on larger machines. The impact of COVID-19, CFAP payments in the U.S. and overall grower sentiment are variables to watch through the rest of 2020.
“The growth we’re seeing in the sub-100 horsepower segments appears to be an unusual side-effect of COVID-19-related quarantines, as large home property owners and hobby farmers are spending more time at home, and with their equipment, and desiring an upgrade,” says Curt Blades, AEM’s senior vice president of ag services. “The larger machinery that remains in decline are row-crop tractors and harvesters that do the major work on commercial farming operations. This decline is clearly a reflection of uncertainty in the overall ag economy at this time.”