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Euro Auctions smash record for excavator sales

Euro Auctions

August auction sees 769 excavators going over the ramp at flagship sale site in Leeds

THE recent sale at Euro Auctions’ flagship sale site in Leeds smashed the record for the greatest number of excavators ever sold at a Euro Auctions sale, with 769 machines going over the ramp.

Market confidence was still high at the August four-day sale at Europe’s largest auction site, where more than 5,000 lots were up for sale. With a hammer total of just over £42 million, the sale was 25% up on the same event in August 2021, showing confidence in the auction process.


The floor total for the sale was just over £12 million with online sales being £30 million, representing 71% of the total sale, and the total for the timed-ring auction being £600,000. Registered vendors for the sale numbered 531 from 22 countries, with over 11% of buyers being first-timers and new to Euro Auctions. In addition, at this sale, the number of lots was 10% above the same sale in August 2021, with the average lot price up by 25%.

Commenting on the August 2022 sale, Chris Osborne, sales manager at Euro Auctions, said: ‘Leeds has now firmly established itself as the premiere auction site in Europe for construction plant, agricultural machinery, and industrial equipment. Repeatedly, Euro Auctions bring to market over 5,500 lots at each Leeds sale and we continue to consign good, fresh, late, low-hours equipment, and multiple complements of ‘new-to-48-month-old’ machines.

‘With high demand from the market, prices were strong at this month’s sale, and compared with the same auction 12 months ago demand was higher, prices were better, levels of stock for sale were greater, and demand from around the world was more evident.

‘Very fresh, low-hour machines, ie less than two years old and up to 2,000 hours, are achieving particularly strong prices right now and are the closest alternative to new equipment, as certain models are still unavailable. This was a great opportunity for Euro Auctions customers globally to buy really good kit that normally they would not have access to.’

As well as excavators, articulated dumptrucks are also in particularly high demand right now, as Mr Osborne explained: ‘There is a shortage of trucks globally, with very long lead times for new models, particularly from Cat and Volvo, so again prices are strong right now for fresh, low-hours models. We saw that with 2019 Cat 730s and a 2019 Volvo A30G that made fantastic money for their sellers. The theme was the same with older trucks throughout the range still achieving higher prices than we had anticipated.’

Looking at the market as a whole, Mr Osborne said there were reasons for the results of this sale. With the market starved of new stock over the last 24 months, production from OEMs is moving again with brand-new machines now coming out of the dealerships fulfilling orders.

‘We had 769 excavators at this sale, which is an all-time record. Many of these machines will have been entered into the auction by a consignor taking delivery of new stock, or dealers that took these machines in as part exchange. We are delighted that so many businesses in the UK have faith in Euro Auctions to maximize the return for their used equipment through our simple but very effective auction process,’ said Mr Osborne.

‘Talking to several plant hire customers, we are hearing that fleet utilization figures, which have been particularly high over the last two years, are starting to reduce a little, nothing excessive but just dropping back to pre-pandemic kind of numbers. Many large national fleets have been running at 95% utilization for the last couple of years and are now seeing this drop back to perhaps 80–85%, which historically was more normal. Now, with prices strong in the market, and auctions selling well, operators are turning to Euro Auctions, taking off-hired machines, putting them over the ramp and converting dead stock into cash.

‘I ‘m seeing many of them turning their inventories of plant and machinery into cash and putting that money back into their businesses. This is a smart way to raise capital right now. With prices strong, sellers are paid out quickly, stock is holding its value, and when operators want to buy new machinery, we have great choices of makes, models, and types and can help them to re-stock.’

Mr Osborne added: ‘We cannot ignore the ‘R’ word and many in the industry are talking about recession. With interest rates rising, with the cost of raw materials set to rise, with cautiousness in the market, the auction is still a sure way for businesses to liquidate assets, and to be able to turn ‘iron into cash’.’


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