From their annual "Outlook" survey, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) reports machinery makers anticipate continued weakness in U.S. and Canadian tractor sales for 2010. The survey predicts sales of tractors and combines will start rebounding through 2011 and 2012.
AEM is the North American-based international trade group for the off-road equipment manufacturing industry, and it annually polls its agricultural machinery manufacturers on sales predictions of farm-related equipment. Each forecast in the AEM survey is the average of responses from companies in each product line, predicting industry wide expectations rather than individual company performance, and unit sales rather than company profitability.
The next year's unit sales for two-wheel tractors are expected to be down but not as steep compared with 2009 sales of the machinery segment. Sales of under-40-HP two-wheel-drive tractors in 2010 are expected to decrease 8% in the U.S. and drop 15% in Canada. Improvement is then foreseen – in this segment for the U.S., 2011 growth of 8% and 2012 growth of 11%. For tractors in the 40-100-HP range, U.S. sales are expected to decrease 6% in 2010 and then gain 9% in 2011 and 8% in 2012. U.S. sales in 2010 for two-wheel-drive tractors in the 100-HP-and-over range are expected to drop 9%, followed by flat growth (up 0.7%) in 2011 and 4% growth in 2012.
Double-digit decreases are expected in 2010 for four-wheel-drive tractors, following relatively flat business in 2009. Sales of four-wheel-drive tractors in 2010 are predicted to decline 19% in the U.S. and drop 18% in Canada. In the U.S., business is then expected to increase 2 percent in 2011 and 3% in 2012.
Combine sales in 2010 are expected to decrease 12% in the U.S., followed by a 7-percent drop in 2011 and no growth (down 0.3%) in 2012.
For other types of farm-related equipment covered in the AEM survey, overall 2010 demand for most products in the U.S. and Canada is expected to improve after 2009 business declines.