By Tom Collins
Low commodity prices, weather challenges impacting crops, trade issues slashing exports to China and less net farm income are the reasons behind a decrease in Canadian tractor sales, said Craig Klemmer, principal agricultural economist with Farm Credit Canada.
According to numbers from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, 13,605 farm tractors were sold in Canada from Jan. 1 to July 31 this year, down from 14,737 during the same period a year ago. That’s a 7.7 per cent drop.
Most of those sales (8,781) were for two-wheel drive tractors with under 40 horsepower, and the small tractor sales were up 0.6 per cent over last year. Sales of tractors between 40 to 100 horsepower were down 16.8 per cent from 3,143 to 2,615, and sales of 100-plus horsepower tractors were down 20 per cent from 2,286 to 1,829.
Four-wheel drive farm tractor sales were down 34.7 per cent from 582 to 380.
There were 839 combines sold in the first seven months this year, down from 1,121 a year ago, a 25.2 per cent drop.
“It’s the farm economy being cautious about getting overextended and making sure they protect their financial position,” said Klemmer, adding some farmers are holding onto their tractors for longer until the market rebounds. “If we see commodity prices increasing and that farm income starts increasing again, farmers are going to be looking to make some more investments in their equipment.”
It was a different story in the U.S., where total farm tractor sales in the first seven months were at 150,367, up 3.7 per cent from a year ago. Combine sales were at 2,513, down 2.1 per cent.
Farm tractor sales dropping in 2019
By Tom Collins