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Weak pound maintains overseas interest in used machinery

Overseas buyers are expected to maintain a keen interest in second-hand machinery from UK farms this autumn due to the continued weakness of the pound. Well maintained large-scale machinery is in particular demand, according to Simon Wearmouth, partner at rural adviser and auctioneer Brown & Co.

 “After October 2016, when the pound hit its lowest level against the euro for nearly nine years, buyers from Eastern Europe practically cleared out dealers’ yards,” he says.

 “Well maintained machinery is still sought by discerning international buyers, and by many UK farmers. Larger second-hand cultivation kit of 6m plus widths and high horsepower tractors, preferably with a good service history, are in particular demand.”

 After staging some modest rallies against the euro, the pound has recently slipped back to around October 2016 levels. If that weakness continues, Mr Wearmouth predicts further overseas interest during the forthcoming autumn sales.

 Online machinery auctions are a good way of reaching buyers, wherever they are in the world, says Mr Wearmouth.  Brown & Co, a leader in this sector, established its quarterly Online Timed Machinery Auction service in 2013. The next one opens for bidding on 1 September.

 Details are being circulated to Brown & Co’s extensive database, which consists of many thousands of buyers across the UK and from around the globe.

 “As it is a national sale we have sold lots from as far afield as Inverness and Padstow and many locations inbetween.

 “Some 25-30% of our registered buyers are from overseas, including USA, New Zealand, North Africa, Eastern and Central Europe. They account for about 50% of the total value of a typical sale,” says Mr Wearmouth.

 Selling through an online auction requires no more time than it takes to describe the machine, take some photographs and email them to the sale organiser, says Mr Wearmouth.

 “They provide a novel way of selling surplus farm machinery and equipment while saving vendors and buyers time and effort. And, if the lot remains unsold, it doesn’t cost a penny.”

 By following a few simple guidelines, vendors can help ensure their machinery offerings stand out. Vendors can request an entry form and return it completed to Brown & Co in good time (ideally three weeks prior to the sale) to ensure that their items can feature in the company’s national advertising.

 “We also need a range of good quality photographs with each lot. For tractors, it is quite handy to have a short video of it starting up and running,” says Mr Wearmouth.

 “We can then can upload the details to our website and buyers can enquire directly to us for details of each lot. Buyers can also discuss the lot with the vendors and arrange to view the lot.”

 Interested buyers can then register to bid in the auction and have a 10-day window in which to place their bids for the lots that are of interest. Subject to lots exceeding their reserve, the successful buyer is emailed an invoice after the close of the sale, says Mr Wearmouth.

 “Once we are in receipt of cleared funds, we notify both parties and the buyer is then able to make contact with the vendor and arrange collection.”

 For further information on the next quarterly online auction go to

 Examples of lots sold online include:

·                        2006 Claas Lexion 600 Combine Harvester sold in April 2014 for £75,000

·                        2012 Fendt 720 Profi Plus Tractor sold in July 2016 for £68,000

·                        2006 Challenger MT765B Crawler sold in July 2016 for £48,000

·                        1998 Bateman RB15 Self Propelled Sprayer sold in July 2016 for £23,500

·                        2013 McConnel PA5455 Hedge Cutter sold in March 2015 for £9,200

            ·                        Argo Avenger Amphibious vehicle sold in September 2015 for £3000 

Simon Wearmouth