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Ritchie Bros. sees unprecedented activity at its online auctions

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Long lead times on new equipment and exceptionally high productivity in key industries have pushed heavy machinery demand at Ritchie Bros. to unprecedented levels and equipment owners are taking advantage. In 1Q21, Ritchie Bros. has driven website traffic up 47% year over year while bidder registrations are up 49%.

“We currently see price performance of construction equipment at our auctions in Europe averaging 10 to 15% higher than a year ago,” said Jeroen Rijk, Ritchie Bros. Managing Director EMEA & Latin America. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my 25 years working in the industry.”

Mr. Rijk continued, “Ritchie Bros. has always been on the cusp of international equipment supply and demand. We’ve seen massive demand spikes in the past, but they are normally regionalised. It’s now a global tendency with increased bidder activity from all over the world, from almost all industry verticals we serve. Construction, agricultural, mining, transportation or other industries; demand is incredibly strong across the board. It’s an exciting time if you have equipment to sell.”

In addition to market conditions, Ritchie Bros. also attributes increased buyer activity to the fact that auctions provide quick access to work-ready equipment and the company’s online Timed Auction system, which has been used exclusively in the EMEA region since March 2020, has made bidding easier and more convenient.

A closer look at the data shows:

  • Hydraulic excavators, a typical machine used in construction and mining, saw median auction prices in Europe rise 23%, with an average of €39 858 per item. International competition increased on these diggers, with 12% being sold to out-of-country buyers (7% same period in 2020). Top buyer countries included The Netherlands, UK, Romania, Poland and Spain.
  • The median price of wheel loaders sold at Ritchie Bros. auctions in Europe increased 5.6% in 1Q21 (compared to 1Q20), averaging €25 012 per item. The top buyer countries for wheel loaders were The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland.

“With our international digital marketing program running at full steam to attract buyers, it’s not an exception at our auctions to see young, low-hour items selling at premium price levels,” Rijk continues. “Not just for our unreserved Timed Auctions, but we also see it with our reserved solution, Marketplace-E. Using advanced data tools, we’re keeping a close eye on movements in the market. With pricing being strong, it continues to be extremely favourable for turning any kind of machinery into cash.”

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