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Russell Nemetz Survey Shows Ag Equipment Companies Closing Inventory Gap
by Russell Nemetz, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: September 10, 2018

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For the first time in three years, the gap between Ag equipment dealers' and manufacturers' opinions on equipment inventory levels has significantly narrowed.

In a 2018 survey conducted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) of their respective members, the majority of dealers report that their new inventory is just right, although inventory is still too high. By contrast, manufactures have consistently held a more positive opinion of their dealers' inventory.

In 2016, the first year this survey was completed, a significant majority of dealers felt that both their new and used inventories were too high. In 2017, while there was still a slim majority of dealers that thought inventory was too high, there was almost a 20 percent decrease from 2016. By contrast, the last two years of data showed that manufacturers believe that inventory of both new and used equipment are at the right level.

When considering the second quarter (April, May and June) of 2018, manufacturers agree - although not by wide margins - that their companies' inventories are staying about the same. They agree much more dramatically (65 percent) that their dealers' inventory levels remained stable in the second quarter. Dealer respondents on the other hand, overwhelmingly reported that both new and used inventories have been decreasing.

While overall the results of the 2018 survey are positive for both dealers and manufacturers, there are economic implications to consider. Based on previous research, AEM and EDA know that, in regards to inventory, both groups are cognizant of the potential effect of steel and aluminum tariffs on the industry.

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