Cheffins, which conducts the largest monthly sale of second-hand tractors and agricultural machinery in the world, has reported sales of over £11.3m in Q3, throughout both Cambridge Machinery Sales at the firm’s dedicated site near Ely, and at on-farm auctions across the UK.

While stock had decreased across the quarter by 11 per cent, the September 2018 auction was the highest grossing September sale at the Cheffins site since 2014, making a total of £3.5m. A combination of a strong harvest and higher commodity prices has led to farmers looking to change up machinery as revenues increased throughout the summer. Similarly, prices are continually buoyed by the strength of overseas buyers making the most of favourable exchange rates and a lack of stock.

Around 80% of stock sold at the Cheffins Cambridge Machinery Sales is destined for overseas, with buyers from around 30 different countries competing for the best kit. The third quarter of the year saw the most active buyer nationalities being Southern Ireland, Spain and Poland, with a total of circa  £3m being sold to these countries in the past three months. Similarly, domestic buyers have returned to the market as a result of increased revenues, with circa £2m-worth of stock being sold at the Cambridge Machinery Sales to UK-based purchasers.

Bill Pepper, director at Cheffins Cambridge Machinery Sales said: “A strong harvest and higher commodity prices has led to value increases for the best quality second-hand agricultural machinery and plant equipment. Stock levels decreased throughout Q3, however this was to be expected as farmers’ time is taken up by harvest and the hay-making period. The gross figure for the September 2018 sale is illustrative of the demand for second-hand kit which we have seen this year as farmers and dealers return to the market. Buyers from Europe are continuing to dominate sales, with a Spanish dealer being the biggest individual buyer, whilst purchasers from Poland are coming into their own as its burgeoning agricultural sector sees demand for second-hand machinery. Additional reassurance for farmers in the release of the Agriculture Bill has also led to an increase in UK-based purchasers and we expect the last quarter of the year to see high levels of demand for the best second-hand opportunities.”

Similarly, on-farm sales have continued to thrive with Cheffins hosting auctions across the UK. Over four individual auctions, the on-farm sales team saw over £1.867m-worth of sales on behalf of farmers throughout Q3.

Sales have occurred in Suffolk, Essex, Dorset and Cambridgeshire with over 1,115 lots being offered over the three-month period, cementing Cheffins as the leading on-farm second-hand machinery auctioneers in the UK. The top selling lot for Q3 was a Claas Lexion 630 combine harvester which was sold for £88,000.

These on-farm auctions have taken place due to a change in farming policy, an end in tenancy or sellers entering into new business opportunities. Buyers have been a mix of end-user purchasers, European buyers and trade as pressures increase due to higher prices for new tractors and a shortage of second-hand stock.