by BETTER FARMING STAFF
Tractor sales are booming in Canada but sales of self-propelled combines are in decline, indicate figures recently released from a North American trade association.
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), sets Canadian end-of-April, year-to-date (YTD) sales of tractors at 6,559 units, up 7.9 per cent from last year. The association reports even more spectacular increases for the month of April in Canada with total farm tractor sales of 2,824 units, up 20.3 per cent from the 2,348 units sold last April.
However, the association’s end-of-April, YTD figures for self-propelled combines show 420 units were sold in Canada, down 21.3 per cent from the 534 units sold over the same period in 2011.
The association, headquartered in Milwaukee, represents the off-road equipment manufacturing industry and reports sales of tractors and combines in the United States, Canada and Russia.
In a news release today, equipment manufacturer Deere & Company announced a nearly 17 per cent increase in net income for its second quarter ending April 30 compared to the same period last year. The company’s net income for the first six months of its current fiscal year was also up about 12 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
Sales in the company’s agriculture and turf division increased 11 per cent for the quarter and 10 per cent for the six months, compared to the same time periods in the previous year, “largely due to higher shipment volumes and price realization, partially offset by the unfavorable effects of currency translation,” the news release states.
It also noted the company’s worldwide net sales and revenues increased 12 per cent for its second quarter and rose 12 per cent to $16.775 billion for the first six months of its current fiscal year. Equipment net sales in the United States and Canada increased 18 per cent for the quarter and 13 per cent year-to-date.
Meanwhile, a Canadian company has set a second-quarter sales record, largely based on sales to Russia and neighbouring countries such as Ukraine as well as sales to other countries including China and Australia.
Buhler Industries, of Winnipeg, Man., reported sales for the quarter ending March 31 were a record $102.5 million, up 44 per cent from last year’s second quarter sales of $71.9 million. Sales of $179 million for the first six months are the best in company history.
In a news release, Buhler attributed the increase “to the strong overseas market for tractors, strong demand for the sprayer line as well as the tillage line introduced in 2011.”
Buhler Industries marketing manager Adam Reid says the company has sold its Versatile line of tractors in Russia since 2002 where they have proven to be durable and easy to maintain. An additional advantage is that Buhler is 80 per cent owned by the Russian combine company Rostselmash and Buhler products are sold through their dealer network.
Reid said the company is optimistic about future quarters. “The demand for tractors and farm equipment on a global level remains high,” he says. Buhler’s Versatile tractors are made in Manitoba, its tillage equipment is made in Alberta and its self-propelled sprayer is made in Minnesota.
AEM’s sales figures show end-of-April, YTD sales of farm tractors in the United States was 54,512 units, up 4.9 per cent. Combine sales in that country, however, stood at 1,899 units, down 38.4 per cent from the 3,084 units sold to the end of April 2011.
The association reports YTD tractor sales in Russia to the end of February at 6,432 units, up 50.4 per cent from last year. Combine sales there were also down. They sold 575 units, down 27 per cent from the 788 units sold to the end of February 2011. BF