Africa wanting larger equipment as Central and Eastern
Europe market tails away

For Euro Auctions, its
end-of-April sale, held in Leeds, was the largest in the company’s
10-year history. Interestingly, many of the buyers of equipment at
the auction were from North Africa, and there is evidence to show
that interest from this region will continue in the future.

The lots sold at the latest auction
by the Northern Ireland-headquartered auction house totalled £26
million (€29 million), with 612 buyers from 39 countries. In total,
there were 1,046 registering bidders from 45 countries, with 135
first-time bidders.

Almost half of the equipment sold
will leave the UK – a figure which is expected to further increase
with the increase in trade between the UK and North Africa by first
and second generation African nationals residing in the

According to Euro Auctions, a
never-seen before interest has come from bidders in countries like
Egypt, Libya and Algeria.

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Euro Auctions general manager,
Jonathan Keys, said: “Because this is quite a new trend, we do not
have a lot of data yet, but there is definitely an increased

“While we were only selling smaller
implements like generators or compressors, now we are selling
larger equipment, like excavators and wheeled loaders.”

Traditionally, says Keys, Eastern
Europe was one of the largest markets for Euro Auctions, focused on
backhoes and multi-purpose equipment. But as the recession is
hitting the region hard, its place could be taken by the
geographical area that lies between North Africa and Pakistan,
which has a particular focus on larger equipment, including
excavators and wheel loaders.

Keys explained that a lot of the
buyers from the region are dealers who then sell on the machines in
their own countries.

In some cases, local infrastructure
projects – which require large construction equipment – are
ongoing, many of which not dependent on Western money, but rather
on money derived from local natural resources.

“They seem to have access to money,
so we are trying to focus on this market to get more and more of
them to come to our auctions,” Keys said.

He added that buyers are now
targeting good quality equipment, including two-year-old machines,
and buying three or four each. This, combined with the fact that
some excavators have hit their best prices in two years, gives
auctioneers – and lessors – enough reason to hope for the

Antonio Fabrizio

Euro Auctions sale

Euro Auctions sale figures