20 February 1998

Interest in used kit set to rise

SECOND-HAND machinery sales show prices to be well below last years levels.

But with spring on the horizon, auctioneers are reporting an upturn in interest from farmers and dealers.

As Christopher Clarke of Clarke and Simpson says: "Nobody is yet busy on the arable side, but they are about to be."

Paul Claydon of Cheffins Grain and Comins saw a record number of visitors at last weeks Cambridge auction.

Greek buyers – who were buying from Germany – have returned, with the stronger DM leaving that country a no-go area.

Top price was £21,750 for a 1994 Fendt 514C four-wheel-drive tractor, snapped up by a Dutch buyer. But mid-range tractors in the £5000 to £10,000 range are in most demand, says Mr Claydon.

Currency movements remain crucial. Sterlings appreciation last year has knocked about 25% off some tractor prices. This, in turn, means vendors have dropped their reserves making GB again competitive in the European market-place, says Mr Claydon.

Cheffins also held a retirement sale at Witch-Elm Lodge Farm, Manea, Cambs, last week. Auc-tioneer, Edwin Lee, says the kit was in mint condition. "One Lely fertiliser spreader, which was 10 years old, looked as of it had just come out of the showroom. It made £1350."

John Amos of Russell Baldwin and Bright, says farmers, facing tougher times, are increasingly looking to used kit.

RBBs collective auction at Shobdon last week saw strong interest in entries direct from councils and water companies. "Buyers know whose hands it has been through," says Mr Amos.

Demand is also brisk for machinery and equipment from finance companies. "It tends to be fairly young and buyers like it because they know why it is for sale."

Witch-Elm Lodge Farm sale top prices

Sanderson TL6

teleporter (1996) £18,450

Lamborghini Premium

4WD tractor (1996) £15,450

Fiat F115

tractor (1995) £14,000