‘Spanish remain the strongest overseas buying force at Cambridge Machinery Sales’

Sales of second-hand machinery have topped £9.9 million at Cheffins Cambridge Machinery Sales and the company’s on-farm auctions (across the UK) in the first quarter of this year.

The English-based entity – well known to many Irish machinery dealers – says that “favourable exchange rates” continue to draw overseas buyers.

The company says that around 80% of stock sold at the Cambridge Machinery Sales goes to overseas buyers, with punters from around 30 different countries competing for it.

Bill Pepper, director at Cheffins, explained: “As prices for new machinery continue to rise and the future of UK farming remains uncertain, we have also seen growth in domestic [UK] purchasers turning to second-hand options as a cheaper and more viable alternative since the Brexit vote in June 2016.

“On-farm sales have also experienced an uplift in overseas buyers. One of our recent on-farm auctions in Cheshire saw online bidders from Spain, Greece and Ireland bidding for the best stock.

Spanish buying power

“The Spanish remain the strongest overseas buying force; their demand for tractors – particularly John Deeres – is tantamount to insatiable.

“For example, in a recent auction one Spanish buyer purchased 22 tractors – spending in excess of £500,000.

“With a stronger dairy sector in Ireland than in England, the demand and prices paid for circa 100hp tractors has increased as trade improves.”

He continued: “With the high prices attained at auction, new vendors are recognising the auction route as a cost-effective and efficient method of disposing of stock.

“We regularly act for private farmers in addition to machinery dealers, local government departments and finance companies. March’s [Cambridge Machinery Sale] auction saw a consignment of 17 very recent Massey Ferguson tractors entered directly from a major finance company.

“It recognised the auction route as the fastest way of selling the end-of-lease stock. After intense interest and equally fierce bidding, all tractors [combined] sold – grossing in excess of £700,000.

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“The construction sector also remains buoyant and this has been mirrored in the percentage of stock sold in this section at our monthly auctions. Telescopic handlers service both the construction and agricultural sectors and this dual appeal has resulted in some robust demand, whether it’s JCB, Manitou or Matbro.

“And, speaking of JCB, its 3CX model – the archetypal yellow-coloured digger loved universally for its multi-tasking ability – is much sought after by our buyers from Asia and the Middle East.”