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Machinery Pete: Combine Values Steady

December 02, 2016

Let’s talk used combine values, which, according to our data, have been holding for 18 months. There was a blip in December 2015 when several large wholesale auctions sold dozens of late-model used combines, which pushed auction prices lower.

Does it surprise you combine values have been steady?

On the topic of surprises, in late October while filming an “On the Road with Machinery Pete” segment for “U.S. Farm Report” TV, host Tyne Morgan asked Jeff Sloan with Sloan Implement (20 John Deere stores in Illinois and Wisconsin) what the biggest surprise of 2016 was for him. 

“The biggest surprise was we were able to work through our used combine inventory. We found the sweet spot for price on 60 and 70 Series machines and we’ve been able to move a lot more machines than we did the year before,” Sloan said. “Coming into 2016 to say we’d sell more used combines than a year ago, I would have been hesitant to take that on, but we’ve proven it this year.”

The auction prices our Machinery Pete team has compiled throughout the year are also telling. Check out the auction data below on various used John Deere and Case IH combines. Note how Case IH 8010 and John Deere 9770 STS combine values are nearly flat in 2016 and John Deere 9860 STS values are up 5.2%. That’s the kind of data folks find surprising. 

For more perspective, let’s pull back to a 30,000' view on used combine values. In 2013 and 2014, used combine values tumbled hard and fast. For example, in 2013 John Deere 9870 STS combines sold for an average of $170,207 at auction. The next year the average auction price was down to $131,433, a drop of 22.8%. John Deere 9870 values slipped another 14.4% in 2015. This year, our data shows John Deere 9870s are only down 1.7% in value.

Remember Sloan mentioning they found the sweet spot for price on 60 and 70 Series combines.

This is why I’ve been saying since late 2015 that now is actually a great time to consider upgrading to a later model used combine. Values are steady, supply is plenty on dealer lots around the country and we continue to hear of more farm machinery auctions in the works. It is easy to assume these market conditions will continue for a long time, but that could be a dangerous assumption. 

Another data point I track confirms more folks were looking to buy used combines late this year. Combine searches at were up 39% in October, compared with September. We have more than 105,000 used equipment items listed for sale and 6,200 used combines.

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