Depending on the country and size of the equipment, global sales of farm machinery through much of the first half of the year are best characterized as “uneven.”
The Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers reports that U.S. total sales of farm tractors during the January through June period of 2014 were up 2.6%, but within that number, big equipment sales declined. Row-crop tractor sales fell 10.3% and 4WD units dropped 10.6% during the first half of the year. Combines also experienced declining sales, dropping by 12.8% vs. the same 6 months of 2013.
Sales of tractors and combines in Canada followed much the same pattern so far in 2014. Total tractor sales were flat compared to a year earlier, with row-crop tractors up less than 1%. Combine sales were off by 23.7% and 4WD tractors declined by 20.6% vs. January to June 2013.
Brazil Sales Decline. June unit sales of ag equipment in Brazil came in at 5,398, a year-over-year decline of 21%, according to agrimoney.com. Through the first half of the year, machine sales in Brazil are down 19.8%. “And it signaled that there may be more to the market decline than a series of one-off factors blamed for sales losses earlier in the year,” reported Agrimoney.
Like farmers in the U.S., Brazilian growers are also confronted with falling commodity prices. “Prices for soybeans and corn are now in a downturn and not expected to improve any time soon,” said Michael Cordonnier at Soybean and Corn Advisor. He added that values were “approaching” the cost of production in Mato Grosso, a key producing state for both crops.
UK Sales Mixed. Profi.com reported on July 21 that some segments of the UK tractor market were “buoyant,” while others are experiencing some falloff.
“Registrations of new tractors in the UK above 50 horsepower rose by 4% during the first 6 months of this year to 6,942 units. With the exception of tractors from 51-100 and 100-120 horsepower, which fell by 18.8% and 4.7% respectively, all power categories above 120 horsepower showed an increase in units registered when compared with the same period during 2013.
“The biggest increase was in the 141-160 horsepower band, which rose by 21.9% to 1,563 units, and accounted for over a fifth (21.1%) of all new tractors registered during the first half of 2014,” said Profi. It also reported the sales of tractors below 50 horsepower fell by 5.5% during the first 6 months of 2014 to 467 units.
Dropoff in India. Mahindra & Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Sector, India’s biggest tractor maker, reported a 7.8% drop in domestic sales in July to 16,379 vehicles, compared with 17,771 units sold during the same period a year ago. Its total tractor sales (domestic and exports) during the month stood at 17,407 units, compared with 18,469 vehicles sold in the same period a year ago. Exports for the month were at 1,028 units, according to the Hindu Business Line.
Solid in Russia. Rosagromash reports that total Russian sales of tractors January through May were up 6.8%. The sale of tractors less than 40 horsepower were up 13.6% and tractors 40-100 horsepower rose by 5.4%. Row-crop tractor sales were down slightly, 1.8%, during the 5-month period and unit sales of 4WD tractors rose by 14.2%.
Russian combine sales increased by 16.7% through May of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
Germany Down Slightly. Unit sales of tractors sold in Germany from January through June were down 1.8% vs. the same 6-month period of 2013, according to the German publication Eilbote (July 17, 2014). In total, unit sales of tractors in Germany were 17,240 vs. 17,552 for the same period in 2013.
Fendt remains the leader in tractor sales with a 21.7% market share (3,736 units). Deere follows with an 18.4% share (3,169 units) of German sales during the January through June period.