14 January 2000

Second-hand stocks fall

By Stephen Howe

TOP quality second-hand equipment could soon be in short supply. Farm machinery dealers have sold off much of their second-hand stock at competitive prices to avoid cash-flow problems, according to a recent survey carried out by the British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association.

The shortfall varies across Britain, says the report. With the exception of Wales and the West Country, about half of BAGMA members reported stocks of second-hand equipment being lower or much lower than normal. The south-east and eastern regions recorded the highest fall with 65% of dealers reporting stocks either much lower or lower than normal at the end of last year compared with 1998.

Second-hand equipment was already becoming more difficult to obtain following trade efforts to clear stocks over the past 12 months, reported some dealers.

Trade-in deals

Supply problems were compounded by the fall in new equipment sales which lead to fewer trade-in deals last year. Many dealers forecast a 20% drop in the sale of new equipment for last year and some commented that they had fallen to zero since September.

Meanwhile, dealers expected the price of new equipment to fall as suppliers competed for market share in a declining market. Many of the new price lists for 2000 have large reductions in retail and net prices, according to the report.

Although that was good news for farmers, it could have serious consequences for those dealerships who have new machinery in stock, warns BAGMA. &#42