Farmers are being urged to bring more second-hand farm kit to market to take advantage of increased demand from British and overseas buyers with more money to spend.
The value of second-hand tractors and machinery has risen significantly in the past 12 months, according to Cheffins, which conducts the largest monthly sale of agricultural kit in the world.
It has reported a 13% rise in sales, from £8.9m to £10.07m, in the second quarter of this year compared with last year, but stock has increased by only 3% in the same period.
See also: Tractor sales up as arable incomes rise
Three-year-old high-spec tractors in good condition with 1,000-1,500 hours were frequently making as much as when they were new, said Cheffins director Oliver Godfrey, with John Deere the most popular.
Residual values have been pulled up due to sharp increases in new prices, with the equivalent new tractor now costing double what it did in 2015.
The company said the sales figures, now at their highest since 2014, had also been helped by a favourable exchange rate for overseas buyers, with 80% of the stock sold at its Cambridge machinery sales destined to go overseas.
Farmer optimism increasing
However, the company said high commodity prices and a strong BPS payment last December had increased optimism among British buyers as well.
They have doubled the number of on-farm sales in the past three years as farmers look to enter joint ventures or trade up for higher horsepower kit after acquiring more land.
Cheffins chairman Bill King said: “Whilst it cannot be denied that the future of subsidies remains unclear, the combination of positive factors within the market has helped the industry to start to return to normal.
“In a similar vein, we have seen a marked increase in the number of end-users attending auctions in order to trade up kit, illustrating improved confidence within UK agriculture.”