Strong Machinery Sales Start 2018, AEM Concerned On Pending Tariffs

March 15, 2018 11:04 AM
 
Total sales of self-propelled combines in February grew 34% compared to last year and sales of 4-wheel drive tractors increased 9%.

In its monthly sales report, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) reports year-over-year increases in high-capacity equipment for new equipment sales in the U.S.

Total sales of self-propelled combines in February grew 34% compared to last year and sales of 4-wheel drive tractors increased 9%.

“We’ve been cautiously optimistic for some growth in 2018, following a somewhat bumpy 2017 and positive overall numbers in January,” says AEM Senior VP for AG Services Curt Blades.

Some categories in the report declined. Total farm tractor sales declined 9.8% compared February 2018 to 2017. That was driven by an 11.7% decrease in sales of under 40 hp tractors and a 20.3% decline in 100+hp tractors.

Blades says while there are some positive sales results so far in 2018, it’s too early to declare any year-long trends. One issue AEM is watching closely, are the pending “Trump Tariffs.”

“A major issue is pending U.S. steel tariffs and their implications on agriculture beyond the equipment sector. Past trade wars resulting from U.S. tariffs have targeted commodities, so this is a real concern. AEM and our manufacturers will be carefully monitoring their impact on tractor and combine sales in the coming months,” Blades says.

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