Tomorrow the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers will release June farm equipment sales figures, and if the current trends hold, they should be hefty as North American sales of large ag equipment continued to skyrocket through the first 5 months of 2013.
In May, high unit sales were driven by row-crop tractor and combine sales, which increased 17.8% and 28.6% year-over-year, respectively.
Meanwhile, 4WD tractor sales fell 8.9% vs. the same period last year. Mid-range tractor sales increased 6% year-over-year and compact tractor sales increased 27%.
According to Mircea (Mig) Dobre, analyst with RW Baird, inventory levels continue to rise, though generally supported by continued unit sales growth.
Large tractor and combine retail sales increased 16% year-over-year in May, decelerating from the 26% rise in April. U.S. sales increased 18% year- over-year; Canadian sales increased 4%.
Combine retail sales remained strong, posting a 28.6% year-over- year increase in May following a 63% increase in April (though both months had relatively easy prior year comparisons). Last three month (L3M) sales increased 53.1% on a year-over-year basis following a 66% increase last month. May is typically an unimportant month for combine sales, accounting for 6.7% of annual sales over the last 5 years.
Row-crop tractor sales continue to grow posting a 17.8% year-over- year increase, decelerating from the 26.7% increase observed in April; L3M sales increased 24.3%. U.S. row-crop tractor inventories increased 54.1% year-over-year in April vs. a 48.2% increase in March.
4WD tractor sales fell 8.9% in May year-over-year, deteriorating somewhat from a 3.6% decrease in April. Importantly, Dobre said comparisons become progressively tougher for the remainder of the year. U.S. dealer inventories of 4WD tractors increased 18.3% in April vs. the same period last year.
Mid-range tractor sales increased in May, up 6% year-over-year after a 6.1% decrease last month. Compact tractor sales increased 27% year-over-year, up from the 4% increase last month.