An on-site sale conducted by Cheffins (best known for its monthly Cambridge machinery auctions) in Lancashire, England last week saw over £1.6 million worth of agricultural equipment sold.
According to the company, which is well known to many in Irish machinery circles, it was the "largest single-vendor auction of modern equipment in recent years".
Bill King, Chairman at Cheffins, said: "This sale included over 30 tractors – mainly Massey Ferguson models. 18 Manitou telescopic handlers, a Claas Jaguar forage harvester, a JCB shovel and over 400 lots of implements, trailers and spares went under the hammer following Whittinghams Farm Supplies decision to cease trading.
“Over £1.6 million of machinery found new homes with dealers and farmers attending from throughout the UK and Ireland – complimented by buyers from Poland, Spain, Belgium and a host of others taking advantage of on-line bidding. This proves how on-site sales can be one of the most profitable ways to disperse of agricultural machinery.
Late-registered Massey Ferguson tractors were much in demand, with four 7618 tractors making between £48,500 and £49,500 for 2015 models and £36,500 and £41,000 for 2013 models.
"MF 6490s were keenly bid for, making prices from £19,000 to £20,000 for ’09 and ’07 models. A ‘09 6495 fetched £28,800 and a ’13-plate 5480 made £30,500.
"These prices were outshone by a very low-houred 1997 Massey Ferguson 362 making a spectacular £19,400, which was eventually knocked down to a collector from Yorkshire,” he said.
“Manitou telehandlers were also in demand, led by a ’15-plate MLT 634 at £37,000 and a 2013 MLT 730-120 at £31,000.
Other big ticket items saw a 2013 Claas 870 forage harvester make just shy of six figures at £99,000 and a 2014 JCB 418 loading shovel make £75,500.
“With the grass-cutting season imminent, grassland machinery and silage trailers were being targeted by farmers and contractors. A Kuhn front and rear mower outfit raised £20,000 and a 2011 Claas 3500 Liner rake made £16,000, whilst a McHale 998 bale wrapper was sold at £18,000.
"Three 16t Broughan silage trailers fetched between £11,000 and £11,800. Hi-Spec tankers made up to £11,900. With muck to be spread, a 2014 Bunning spreader made £14,900 and a smaller ’09 Lowlander sold for £10,900.”
Numerous spares and attachments were also sold to a keen audience and saw prices to match. Cheffins reckons that the timing of the sale encouraged (farmer) buyers on the lookout for seasonal equipment. King says that dealers were also there – looking to restock their yards and satisfy farmers seeking a cheaper alternative to buying new.
He said: "This level of demand, coupled with a weak pound and good export trading conditions, has led to price rises. We are now facing the prospect of a shortage of some of the more popular models of tractors, combines and machinery.”