Weak pound sends more second-hand machinery overseas

Overseas buyers are underpinning a surging second-hand tractor and machinery market after the weak value of sterling helped send farm kit across Europe.

Machinery auctioneers Cheffins said a combination of more lots forward and higher prices helped their September sale in Cambridge to hit its highest gross income in four years, with 80% of machinery going under the hammer to overseas buyers.

The company, which claims to have the biggest monthly machinery sale in the world, said the most active buyers were from the Republic of Ireland, Spain and Poland, who have snapped up £3m of machinery between them in the past three months.

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However, total stock being brought forward for sale across the quarter was down on the previous three months, as farmers focused on harvest, said Cheffins director Bill Pepper.

“A strong harvest and higher commodity prices has led to value increases for the best-quality second-hand agricultural machinery and plant equipment,” he said, explaining that a wide variety of makes and ages were in demand from different markets.

“John Deere, Massey Ferguson, New Holland and Case tractors have continued to sell well.

“The older, pre-1980 Massey Ferguson models have been finding favour with East African buyers in particular.

“For plant, good telescopic handlers have been selling to both UK and overseas markets, particularly eastern European buyers from Poland, Czech Republic and Romania.”

Mr Pepper said he expected to see high levels of British demand in the final quarter of the year for the best second-hand opportunities due to the high price of new machinery and shortage of available second-hand stock.

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