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MILWAUKEE

It was more of the same in May for U.S. retail sales of ag tractors and combines, with under 40HP tractors leading the way and sales of larger tractors and combines continuing to lag, according to data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the leading trade organization for off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

U.S retail sales of farm tractors under 40HP were up 9.4 percent in May 2016 compared to the same time period last year, and up 15.5 percent January through May. For 2WD tractors 40-100HP, sales were up slightly for May compared to last year — plus 1.4 percent, and year-to-date are tracking at minus 2.1 percent.

May sales of 2WD 100+HP tractors in the U.S. declined 3.5 percent, with year-to-date sales down 24.3 percent, while 4WD tractors dropped 26.1 percent year-over-year and dipped 30.6 percent year-to-date.

Combine sales declined 40.2 percent year-over-year for May but for January through May dropped 28.8 percent compared to 2015 year-to-date sales.

'The May retail sales numbers, taken together, are higher than the 5-year average, mostly driven by the smaller under 40HP machines, which remain an area of growth compared to the negative numbers for production equipment. However, farm tractors 40-100HP continued their stable trend, and the 2WD tractors 100+HP experienced a lower decline than earlier this year,' said Charlie O'Brien, AEM senior vice president.

'Farm incomes are expected to be more stable this year and we are seeing some growth in crop receipts in certain areas of the country, but we will most likely have to wait until later this year or 2017 to see an appreciable impact on equipment sales.'

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