North American sales of high horsepower tractors (>100 HP) declined 3.2% year-over-year in October after registering a nearly 13% increase in September, according to figures released on Nov. 12 by the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers.

According to AEM, October 2019 saw increases in U.S. sales of self-propelled combines while both 4WD and 2WD tractor sales fell modestly compared to October 2018. U.S. total farm tractor sales decreased 3.5% in October compared to last year while U.S. self-propelled combine sales increased 8.1%.

Total year-over-year U.S. sales of 2WD tractors in October fell 3.5%: under 40 HP 2WD tractors decreased 3.9%, and sales of 40-100 HP tractors fell 4.9%, while sales of 100-plus HP tractors grew 1.9%. Total October U.S. 4WD tractor sales notched down 2.8%.

For Canada, October 4WD tractor sales fell 51% and self-propelled combine sales decreased 9.2%. October 2WD tractor Canadian sales were mixed: 11.6% decrease for under 40 HP, 6.1% increase for 40-100 HP and 18.8% decrease for 100-plus HP.

Commenting on the AEM report, Stifel analyst Stanley Elliott said in a note, “North America dealer sales of ag equipment were flat to slightly down in October. However, there was dealer destocking in September for combines (OEM sales to dealers down 62.1% year-over-year) while there was dealer stocking of smaller ag equipment (OEM sales for 40-100 HP and under 40 HP tractors +74% % year-over-year and +70.6% in September, respectively). This small ag channel stuffing likely creates difficult comparisons for OEMs in 2020. Notably, OEM outlooks generally foresee a pickup in large equipment demand in November and December as farmers are expected to take advantage of tax incentives and on trade deal hopes.”