Cheffins sells over £48 million worth of machinery in 2020

County 1473County 1473
County 1473
Cheffins, which conducts the largest monthly sale of tractors and agricultural machinery in the world, has sold over £48m worth of second-hand agricultural machinery throughout 2020, at the monthly collective auctions, on site and through the regular vintage sales.

Cheffins has sold over 4,500 tractors and plant items throughout the year at the monthly Cambridge Machinery auction, with sales to over 30 countries worldwide, amounting to an enormous £35m.

Highlights of the Cambridge Machinery Sales in 2020 include a 66 plate JCB 4220 Fastrac, 25-year limited edition, with 6,207 hours on the clock which sold for £75,000. This was followed by a 17 plate Case CVX 185 tractor which sold for £69,000 and a 16 plate Case Magnum CXV340RT tractor with 4,250 hours which made £68,000.

Bill Pepper, Director at Cheffins, said: “There was a pause in live auctions at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, meaning that sales were offered solely online until September when we reopened the gates of the sale ground. However, we were gladdened by the spirit of online bidding throughout the summer months which still saw excellent prices paid for second-hand tractors and plant items.

Limited edition JCB FastracLimited edition JCB Fastrac
Limited edition JCB Fastrac

“In fact, the online-only sales had parity to live auctions in terms of totals generated throughout the summer months. With total sales at the monthly machinery auctions reaching over £35m, there is clearly still strong demand for good quality second-hand kit from across the world. Whilst uncertainty remains around farm subsidies export and trade legalities in the post-Brexit transitional months, we have seen that both dealers and end-users are still coming to the Cheffins sales to snap up the best equipment on offer. Similarly, the outbreak of COVID-19 had little effect on the export market, with sales to over 30 different countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Some of the strongest markets in recent months have been Spain and Germany for the newer tractors and plant machinery on offer, whereas the Sudanese market has made a comeback this year and has been a driver in the high prices paid for some of the older tractors, Massey Fergusons in particular.

“With sales totals increasing regularly, we can really see that both the UK and export market for second-hand machinery is booming. The cocktail of rising prices for new tractors, lack of new tractor registrations, a shortage of stock for dealers and a drop in trade-ins has really brought the UK dealers back to our market. This, combined with the export trade making the most of a drop in the pound, has led to UK buyers vying against the foreign buyers and has in turn pushed up prices. We have also had a number of farmers entering stock to be sold as they see auction as the best way to achieve the highest prices for stock.”

Cheffins’ nationwide on-site sales have also had stellar results across 2020. There have been 28 on site sales conducted with over 6,000 vintage and modern machinery items sold to a total value of over £10m. On site sales have incorporated a mix of end user and dealer buyers from across the UK, as well as overseas purchasers from multiple different countries. The sales have included everything from high value on site vintage auctions to smaller, dispersal sales for farmers and dealers on a national basis, taking place in Somerset, Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Bedfordshire, Greater London and throughout the Eastern region.

The highlight of the on-site calendar was the major dispersal sale on behalf of KS Coles Ltd, a market-leading vegetable grower in Somerset which saw 600 lots of tractors and vegetable growing equipment in September. Some notable prices for on site sales in 2020 include £113,775 for a 2019 Fendt 724 Vario at the KS Coles Sale; £111,725 for a 2013 Claas Lexion 770TT combine at the Kendall & Banks sale in Sandy, Bedfordshire and £109,162 for a 2013 Case IH 450 Quadtrac tractor at the Edwards sale hosted in Lamberhurst, Kent. Social distancing measures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has also led to a significant uptick in the number of timed online sales hosted by Cheffins. These sales have proved as effective for sellers as traditional live auctions and helped to ensure a consistent level of second-hand machinery being offered to the market.

Oliver Godfrey, Director, Cheffins, said: “Uncertainty around the agricultural industry and a disappointing harvest have seen many farmers look to dispose of unwanted kit as part of their forward planning. This, combined with the growth of the larger contract farming businesses, has ensured a reliable level of supply and demand throughout the year, helping to keep prices firm for the best machinery on offer. It can be expected that as the Agriculture Bill finally gets ironed out and the future of subsidies becomes clearer that we may well see an increase in dispersal sales, however with sterling still weak against the Euro, we would expect to see prices remain firm as European markets look to make the most of the quality second-hand machinery available.”

The next sale will be on January 18, at Cheffins Machinery Sale Ground, Sutton, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 2QT.

For more information, on the monthly Cambridge Machinery Sales please contact Bill Pepper, Cheffins, on 01353 777767, or e: [email protected] Or for information on on site and dispersal sales, please contact Oliver Godfrey, Cheffins, on 01353 777767, or e: [email protected]


Over 3200 vintage items were sold under the hammer via both online sales and at the regular collective auctions at Cheffins’ Saleground at Sutton, Cambridgeshire, throughout 2020, with gross sales for classic machinery totalling over a vast £3.5m. 2020 saw Cheffins offer 380 classic and vintage tractors, 75 motorcycles, classic commercials and over 500 automobilia items in 12 months. There was also nine timed online sales throughout the year.

Highlights of the vintage sales in 2020 include 1979 County 1474 ‘Short Nose’ which achieved £74,000 at the on site sale for Malcolm Beaton in Somerset in October. The Cambridge Vintage Sale in July also saw some spectacular prices with £70,250 paid for an MB Trac 1100 tractor, dating back to 1990 and £53,000 paid for a Saunderson Model G, dating back to 1917 at the October Vintage Sale hosted at Sutton.

The regular collective sales at Cheffins saw impressive sums paid for vintage and collectors’ items. The July auction was the first timed-online vintage sale offered by the firm, which grossed over £900,000. In October, the auction which was offered both live and online made a total of £1.2m.

For on site vintage sales, the Malcolm Beaton sale in Somerset saw 70 Ford, County and Roadless tractors offered with prices high prices paid for the best examples on offer. As well as the £74,000 paid for the County 1474 ‘Short Nose’, £54,000 was paid for a County 1184 LWB and £30,000 for a 1979 County 1474 restoration project.

William King said: “Whilst the COVID-19 outbreak meant that we couldn’t host live auctions in the first half of the year, the results achieved at the timed online collective sale in July is indicative of the demand for good quality vintage items. Our timed online sales are also increasing in regularity as both buyers and sellers become increasingly confident with the online format. We were pleased to be able to welcome live bidding in the October sale and are hopeful that 2021 will allow us to continue to offer visitors to Sutton, whilst of course following government guidelines.

“This is a market which has been unaffected by the political or economic landscape, unlike many other asset classes, and vintage items continue to be hugely lucrative with values increasing year-on-year. With this in mind, we forecast that vintage prices will increase throughout 2021 as the market continues to gain momentum and we also expect to see a growth in both timed online sales and also on site auctions as collectors come to appreciate these as one of the best ways to market vintage items.”

For further information on vintage sales, please contact Bill King, on 01353 777 767 or e: [email protected]

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