Ag Tire Manufacturers, Dealers Continue to Make Hay
During normal times, few tiremakers - or tire dealers, for that matter - get excited about a "flat" year. But this hasn't been a normal year. And ag tire manufacturers are telling us that in their segment of the market right now, "flat" is actually good.
Nick Phillippi, national product manager, agriculture, for Alliance Tire Americas Inc. recently told me that "farmers have done a great job of keeping North America and the world supplied with food, feed, fuel and fiber, despite the pandemic, which means their equipment has been rolling the whole time."
Doug Kershaw, vice president of BKT USA Inc., told me that his company, overall, is "ahead of where we were a year ago at this time."
Tony Orlando, president of Bridgestone's Firestone Ag division, echoed those sentiments. "Our business has remained relatively resilient as farmers provide an essential service."
Talk with other ag tire manufacturers and you will hear similar statements.
And it looks like 2020 will end on a strong note.
The Purdue University CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose nearly 30 points this past October, an all-time record for the index.
"The late-summer/early-fall rally in commodity prices - combined with government program payments arising from the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program - provided a boost to many producers' incomes."
Corn and soybean prices continued to rally. Soybean yields are predicted to be the fourth highest on record.
Purdue's Farm Capital Investment Index also hit an all-time high in October, up 9% from the previous month.
"The percentage of producers expecting to increase their purchases of machinery in the upcoming year rose to 14% from 11% a month earlier."
Stay tuned to Modern Tire Dealer - including our December 2020 issue - for more information about the state of farm tire demand and what's on the horizon, as well as exclusive shipment and market share numbers across six critical ag tire product categories.
Meanwhile, I have no doubt that ag tire dealers will continue to "make hay" while the sun shines!