In the latest monthly sales report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), year-to-date sales of all categories included in the report are up compared to 2017. However, some month to month comparisons (looking at October 2018 compared with October 2017) showed declines.
Total unit sales are above the five-year average. However, beginning inventories of all categories are up from the same time last year.
"The industry is still trying to find the right numbers with inventories. After the really good times seven years ago, we are still finding where the water is level. And it's just taking some time," says Curt Blades AEM senior vice president, ag services.
Here are some highlights:
- Total two-wheel-drive tractor sales were up 5.6% in October 2018 compared to October 2017
- Four-wheel-drive tractor sales were down just slightly 0.6% in October 2018 compared to October 2017
- Combine sales were down 7.2% in October 2018 compared to October 2017.
“Manufacturers are citing the challenges of aluminum and steel, transportation and margin pressures," Blades says. "And for farmers and dealers, capital is harder to come by, so availability of financing is affecting row crop tractors, four-wheel-drives and combines."