North American large ag equipment retail sales fell in March, with 4WD tractor sales down 6.4% year-over-year, combine sales down 23.9% and row-crop tractor sales down 9.5%, according to the latest figures released by the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers.
With the exception of combines, inventory levels and days-sales inventories rose year-over-year across all large equipment categories, Mircea (Mig) Dobre, analyst with RW Baird, said in a note to investors. He once again noted the increasing risk for inventory destocking in 2014 given projected sales declines.
• U.S. and Canada large tractor and combine retail sales decreased 12% year-over-year in March, down from the 9% decrease in February. U.S. sales were down 11% year-over-year, while Canadian sales decreased 15%.
• Combine retail sales fell, posting a 23.9% year-over-year decrease in March vs. a 15.2% decline in February. U.S. combine inventories were 2.1% lower year-over-year in February vs. up 4.3% last month. March is typically a lower-than-average month for combine sales, accounting for 7% of annual sales over the last 5 years.
• Row-crop tractor sales were down 9.2% year-over-year, following a 6.4% decrease last month. U.S. row-crop tractor inventories increased 16.9% year-over-year in February vs. a 23.9% increase in January. Typically, March is an above average month for row-crop tractor sales, accounting for 9.2% of annual sales over the last 5 years.
• 4WD tractor sales declined 6.4% year-over-year in March vs. a 14.1% decrease in February. U.S. dealer inventories of 4WD tractors increased 16.6% in February vs. the same period last year.
• Mid-range tractor sales rose in March, up 5.6% year-over-year after a 1.2% decrease last month. Compact tractor sales improved as well with a 23.2% year-over-year increase, up from the 3.9% increase in February.