Euro Auctions - Industrial Plant Auctions, Construction Equipment Auctioneers, Agricultural Equipment Auction

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Despite the ‘Ash Cloud’ Crane & Access Prices are UP!
Cranes and Access June 2010

Whatever we have learned from the last 18 months, the key point to note is the uncertainty of the market and the volatile rate at which it changes. With stocks of plant fluctuating between glut and famine, the certainty is that prices will rise and fall exponentially depending on demand and the trend for certain items of plant. Prices have been holding firm across the board and Jonnie Keys of Euro Auctions has the perfect bird’s eye view with which to comment on what is happening in the second-hand crane and access market.

 An auction ‘snap shot’ from Jonnie Keys of Euro Auctions

Whether you believe there will be a ‘double dip’ to the UK and world economy or not, items of used plant are moving around the globe and, like water finding its own level, stock is shipping and changing hands from countries where no use is required to areas where demand is high and getting stronger. Whilst confidence is returning to the market, manufacturing is still not up to its former capacity and as a result, the strength of used plant prices at auction are holding firm and in many cases are improving.

Holding 13 unreserved auctions each year, in the UK, Ireland and Germany, Euro Auctions has an appreciation of the way that the global market has affected the price of plant and machinery. Sale on sale, Euro Auctions has witnessed the prices of used plant strengthen month by month. It was nearly 24 months ago that prices of used plant and machinery dived, dropping like a stone by a massive 40% or more. At the last Leeds Euro Auctions sale in April, it was evident that a recovery was under way and prices may be climbing back to within 10% of where they should have been before the crash. In most cases, plant values have recouped 50% of that initial 40% drop.

As buying trends shift, renewed interest is seen from regions and countries that previously stopped buying before the global downturn. Macedonia and Bulgaria are again buying at auction after an absence of 18 months. Canada and the USA are also buying again after a similar period of inactivity. Still strong is interest from North Africa and the Middle East, with representatives from Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Oman all buying. As a result, it is no surprise to learn that approximately 50% of all equipment purchased at recent Euro Auction sales will be exported from the UK to overseas destinations that we know of. This figure may be much higher, as many UK registered buyers may be also shipping overseas at some point, with the predicted destination being North Africa.

More cranes and access – a good time to sell

Buyers of cranes and access equipment have historically not sold stock at auction, preferring to hang on to equipment as work increased, or buying and selling from and to each other when work slowed down. Cranes have a long life span and are always in demand, and as a result don’t come on to the auction market very often. As a result, buyers and sellers have been reluctant to turn to the auction (online or offline) where in the past the lack of variety and stock choice did not create the interest required to achieve the best price for the seller, or the breadth of choice for the buyer.

However, recent experience from the last three Euro Auction sales is proving that the auction site is now good for prices, as well as good for the seller and buyer of cranes and access equipment. Perhaps a new trend is emerging… Euro Auctions definitely thinks this is the case. In the last 6 months, a groundswell has changed perceptions and volume is now on the increase, which can only be good for prices.

During the January Euro Auctions sale in Leeds, telehandlers made the most money per item behind the 20 Ton Excavators. With renewed buoyancy in the access equipment sector, the majority of stock at that sale seemed to be coming from the Irish market. A good spread of makes and models were represented, but would this buoyancy last? Four months on, this trend is holding and the last two Euro Auctions sales in Leeds and Dormagen, Germany produced staggering results.

For consignments of specialised assets such as cranes and access equipment, Euro Auctions has always subscribed to the fact that volume and choice is good for the sale. Between each Euro Auctions sale, it is important to identify stock trends early and focus on attracting the attention of sellers and buyers through globally targeted marketing campaigns. Experience has shown sellers will jump into a sale where stock volumes of certain items are good which in turn leads to strong sale prices. 

Cranes & Access Update

As more cranes become available on the market due to the global downturn, Euro Auctions has implemented additional themed marketing campaigns to attract sellers and buyers alike. Because of the previous sporadic nature of entry into the auction of this type of asset, it is important that they are entered into the sale early to enable a proper marketing campaign to benefit the sale.

Thus sellers gain confidence and choose to sell their asset in specialised divisions of the overall sale. It is crucial the asset is model and spec specific, as different specs of same model can bring very different prices. Each specification draws different buyers, hence a need to enter into the market early to implement specific marketing mechanisms.

The price of access equipment at auction has been strengthening since the start of 2010, following the glut of stock in the market in late 2008 and early 2009. Prices are currently up 20% from one year ago, depending on age and condition.

To demonstrate the strength of the market, the continuing upward trend was evident in the AWP section of the Euro Auctions sale in Dormagen, Germany on the 6th & 7th May. A total of 186 AWPs went under the hammer, with no shortage of bidders both on site and online. This was the highest ever online sales percentage of any category in a Euro Auction sale, at 36% with 35 Aerial Work Platforms being sold online to countries including The Netherlands, Finland, France, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and Romania. Popular makes included Grove, Genie, Haulotte, Manitou, Terex, JLG, Upright, Skyjack and LiftLux.

This was the highest ever number of AWPs sold at a Dormagen sale since May 2009.

No. of AWPs sold at Euro Auctions Dormagen, Germany:

May   2008               52  
September 2008       57
November  2008       77
February  2009         75
May   2009              214
September  2009      86
November 2009        91
February  2010         72
May   2010              186

Prices were very strong with a noticeable increase from the same period in 2009.  On average AWPS were making 20% more than they did in May 2009 (a 2000 Haulotte HA18PX fetched €2000 more than in May 2009). Manlift prices at a Euro Auction sale in Dormagen, Germany were the strongest since 2008.  Euro Auctions believes the reason for the strength of this sale was due to the available selection, the quality of the assets and the range of models on sale. Feedback from sellers was good and all were extremely satisfied with the prices achieved.

Telehandlers are now fetching between 15% to 20% more than they did at the start of 2010. This is a rapid rise, which has now stabilized whilst a steady demand still exists. These trends are due to a strong but varied global customer base and a large proportion of assets being sold on the Internet.

Ashes to Ashes

Euro Auctions has always striven to deliver the best value experience to the buyer and seller alike. Whilst the online auction is gaining popularity, with online bidding at all Euro Auction sales increasing sale on sale, there is no substitute for seeing the asset in the metal on the day of the sale.

Customer care and service is of the highest importance to Euro Auctions who has always provided additional services to regular buyers and sellers. Euro Auctions regularly organises accommodation, makes travel arrangements, collects buyers and sellers from airports as well as shipping assets to the final destination following the sale.

The latest Euro Auction sale in Leeds on the 14th, 15th and 16th April was no exception. With buyers and sellers flying into the UK under a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland, the outcome of the current situation was unknown. The sale proceeded at a pace and was one of the best Euro Auction sales on record, however, the seriousness of the situation was soon to unfold, with carefully made travel plans in jeopardy. In true style, Euro Auctions helped buyers and seller make alternative plans by car, train, boat and coach, in many cases ferrying them to terminals where they could make vital connections to get home as the traffic in airspace around the UK and Europe quickly ground to a halt. No one was stranded. Everyone got home. All in a day’s work? Just another sale day at Euro Auctions.


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