Weak pound is driving overseas demand for second-hand farm machinery, say auctioneers at Brown and Co
- Credit: Brown and Co
Overseas buyers are expected to maintain a keen interest in second-hand UK farm machinery this autumn, due to the continued weakness of the pound.
East Anglian auctioneers said well-maintained large machinery is in particular demand as international buyers seek to take advantage of currency trends to snap up bargains from British sellers.
Simon Wearmouth, a Norwich-based partner at rural adviser and auctioneer Brown and Co, said: '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.
'Well-maintained machinery is still sought by discerning international buyers, and by many UK farmers. Larger second-hand cultivation kit with widths of 6m-plus 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.
In order to reach international buyers more easily, Brown and Co established its quarterly online timed machinery auction service in 2013. The firm's next online auction opens for bidding on 1 September.
'As it is a national sale we have sold lots from as far afield as Inverness and Padstow and many locations in-between,' said Mr Wearmouth.
'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.'