Cautious Optimism Seen in AEM's April Tractor and Combine Reports
"We saw that 2017 was better than 2016, and in 2018, growth is sluggish but still positive," said AEM Senior Vice President of Ag Services Curt Blades. "The downward trend in net farm income obviously is a concern since it is such a big factor in equipment sales. A bright spot, if you will, is the impact of continued replacement of aging machines; one downside is the continued threat of U.S. protectionism on farmers' business as well as for equipment manufacturers. So, there's still a lot of uncertainty with the year one-third over."
According to the reports released last week:
• U.S. retail sales of self-propelled combines jumped almost 59 percent last month, compared to April of 2017.
• However, total tractor sales in the U.S. rose less than one percent, versus this time last year.
• Canadian retail sales of 4WD tractors dropped more than 28 percent, but overall, tractor sales inched upward 2.2 percent, compared to a year ago.
• Canadian retail sales of combines didn't fare quite as well as the U.S., as they rose just 9.2 percent, compared to a year ago.
• While sales of tractors over 100 HP jumped almost 18 percent in Canada, they fell about 7 percent in the U.S., compared to a year ago.
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