Irish buyers taking advantage of ‘favourable conditions’ at UK machinery sales

Irish buyers are taking advantage of ‘favourable conditions’ following the Brexit vote at UK machinery sales, according to a director of one of the UK’s leading machinery selling agents.

Selling agents Cheffins, which hold monthly plant and farm machinery sales in Sutton, Cambridgeshire, has seen an increase in the number of Irish buyers visiting their auctions, Director of Cheffins Oliver Godfrey has said.

With the exchange currently standing at €1=0.89p, both farmers and machinery dealers from the Republic of Ireland are travelling to the UK in search of a bargain, he said.

There are a couple of farmers travelling over to the sales, but it is mostly machinery dealers from Ireland making the trip over.

“We have a few faces reappearing that have stuck with us for a number of years, but there are new faces appearing,” he said.

Cheffins hold a monthly plant and machinery sale at their premises in Cambridgeshire, while also holding between 10-12 on site sales a year, Godfrey said.

The most popular items at Cheffins monthly sales for Irish buyers include lower horsepower tractors, small fertiliser spreaders, hedgecutters and cultivation equipment.

Lower horsepower tractors are popular, especially those with front loaders, while the slope nose Massey Ferguson tractors also gather a lot of interest.

“There has also been an increase in the number of continental buyers visiting the sales, especially from Germany and Poland.”

Low commodity prices has seen the number of new machinery registrations in the UK fall, as farmers look for good quality second hand machinery, Godfrey said.

“There is always willing buyers, but it has become more difficult to source stock, we always want more stock,” he said.

With commodity prices as low as they are, it doesn’t stack up for farmers to splash out on new equipment meaning there is a shortage of second hand machinery on the market, according to Godfrey.

New tractor sales down across Europe

Meanwhile, tractor sales in all European countries combined were 5.5% lower in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year, figures from CEMA, the European agricultural machinery body, show.

CEMA attributed the decrease in sales due to a a drop in demand for tractors between 50 and 250 horsepower, while the demand for tractors below 50hp remained stable, with demand for high horsepower tractors even increasing.

It is expected that markets will decline further in the second half of 2016 with rates of decline up to 9%, as in Germany.