According to Curt Blades, senior vice president of agriculture services at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), farm machinery sales reflected farmers’ optimism last month:
“We are pleasantly surprised by the return to growth for small units in both the U.S. and Canada, and by a healthy rate. In addition to the continued growth of the big row-crop units, I think the interesting story is harvesters, up nearly 20 to 30% in their respective markets. Farmers investing in more of these big machines is another indicator of that farmer optimism we’ve been seeing.”
Note: All rates exclude fuel unless otherwise noted.
According to the AEM August United States Ag Tractor and Combine Report, total farm tractor sales:
- Climbed nearly 10% from August 2020
- Are up 13% year to date
- Are running 25% above the five-year average
Other categories also saw increased sales since last year:
- Sales of 2WD machines with less than 40 horsepower jumped 8.7%
- The 40 to 100 horsepower 2WD tractor category increased by 5.4%
- The 2WD 100+ horsepower tractor category increased by 37.8%
- The 4WD tractor category increased by 40.4%
- Self-propelled combines were up 19.8%
Inbound load volumes into the flood-ravaged Gulf Coast region eased slightly last week dropping by 2% following the week prior’s 31% inbound volume increase.
The New Orleans market appeared to get back to normal shipping volumes after two slow weeks. Load post volumes surged 78%. Fortunately, the available flatbed capacity allowed spot rates to stabilize and drop by $1.47/mile to $3.08/mile. (Spot rates peaked at $4.55/mile in the second week after Hurricane Ida made landfall).
Capacity is still tight out west in Reno, NV where spot rates jumped $0.20/mile last week to an average of $3.12/mile following a 15% increase in load post volume:
- Loads from Reno to Seattle increased by $0.08/mile to an average of $3.73/mile
- Loads on the 1,000-mile haul to Denver hit a new 12-month high of $3.32/mile
Rate movement in the flatbed sector has been fairly consistent over the last few months, moving a penny per mile one week and down by the same margin the next. Following the gain from the week prior, flatbed rates decreased by $0.01/mile last week to a national average of $2.64/mile.
Spot rates are now $0.46/mile higher than the same week last year. Compared to the same time in 2018, flatbed spot rates are $0.49/mile higher.
How to interpret the rate forecast:
- Ratecast: DAT’s core forecasting model
- Short Term Scenario: Formerly the pessimistic model that focuses on a more near-term historical dataset
- Blended Scenario: More heavily weighted towards the longer-term models
- Blended Scenario v2: More heavily weighted towards the shorter-term models