Up to the end of November, year-to-date figures show that sales of new tractors in the US remain “positive”. That’s according to the most recent report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

Year-to-date sales

Year-to-date (comparing January-to-November of 2018 with the same period of last year) sales of new 2WD tractors were up 6.9%.

Under-40hp tractor sales were up by 9.3%. Sales in the 40-100hp category were up 1.4%, while sales in the 100hp-and-over category were up 5.5%.

Sales of new 4WD tractors were up 15.9%.

Bear in mind that, in the US, the term ‘4WD tractor’ typically refers to big, equal-sized wheel tractors (usually articulated-chassis machines).

Sales of new combines were up 16.6%.

November in isolation

Looking at the month of November in isolation (comparing November 2018 with the same month of 2017), sales of 2WD tractors were down by 0.9%. Sales in the under-40hp category were up 2%. Sales in the 40-100hp category were down by 7.8%. Sales of 100hp-and-over tractors experienced growth of 4.4%.

Sales of new 4WD tractors during November (compared to the same month of 2017) were up by 60.7%. The increase for new combines was 9.2%.

“Equipment sales overall have been resilient this year, but we are starting to see some softening as the year winds down,” said AEM senior vice president of Ag Services Curt Blades.

Trade issues remain a major concern, especially the uncertainty caused by tensions with China.

“On a brighter note, we are encouraged by the administration’s efforts regarding year-round availability of E-15 fuel.”

Meanwhile, in Canada, total retail sales of tractors dropped roughly 8%, compared to a year ago. Self-propelled combine harvester sales also declined – by nearly 16%.

US Farm Bill

In other recent AEM news, the association praised the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill through Congress (in the US).

“This is a win-win for the 1.3 million men and women of our industry and the broader US economy,” said John Lagemann, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for Deere & Company (and AEM chair).

“Farm policies have a major impact on the health of the agricultural economy, which is a key driver of equipment manufacturing employment.

“We applaud Congress on its bipartisan effort to pass this much-needed legislation and look forward to President Trump signing the 2018 Farm Bill into law.”