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Lower Horsepower Tractors Continuing Bright Spot In Machinery Sales
U.S. retail sales of farm tractors under 40 hp. were up 33.2% for March 2016 and up 26.1% year-to-date, compared with the same time periods last year. The 2WD category of 40- to 100-hp. tractors saw retail sales increase 10.1% in March compared with last year. This brings year-to-date growth to 3.2%.
Higher horsepower tractors didn’t fair as well. Two-wheel-drive tractors over 100 hp. declined 32.9%, and January to March 2016 sales of 4WD tractors dropped 38.2% compared with the first quarter in 2015. Combine sales were also down 14.7% for the first quarter in 2016 compared with last year.
“Sales of the compact utility tractors have continued to benefit from their broader customer base used in small acreage farms in addition to some livestock applications,” says Charlie O’Brien, AEM senior vice president. “While some segments may show signs of leveling off or stabilizing, sales of the larger production equipment are still showing significant downward trends from last year; the marketplace is still experiencing the effects of persistent lower commodity prices and higher used-equipment inventories.”