Combine values rebound
The sky isn't falling on used combine values, and those values definitely aren't experiencing the searing heat I'm seeing on used tractor values in 2011. New high-auction prices on used tractors continue to roll in from throughout the U.S. and Canada on all makes and models from 5 years to 40+ years in very good condition.
For used combine values, they are bouncing back just a bit. In the late second quarter of 2011, I was beginning to wonder.
A couple large auctions with high numbers of later model combines produced some very soft prices. Dealer lots had begun to fill up with late-model used combines. That was a by-product of very strong sales of new combines the last few years and a slowing absorption rate on dealers moving used combines off their lots.
Manufacturers were getting concerned, and dealers were definitely getting concerned. I just kept on tracking and compiling auction data. See the table at the left for a list of late-model used combines sold over the last 12 months.
So what about those soft auction prices I mentioned from late spring 2011?
I'm talking prices like $155,000 for a 2009 Deere Model 9870 STS with 1,021 engine hours that sold on a south-central Kansas dealer auction last May. At the same day, a 3-year-old 9870 STS with 910 engine hours sold for $165,900 on a consignment auction in Nebraska. Prior to those sale prices, the low $180,000 range was the bottom I'd seen for prices on 9870 STSs.
But since late spring, values have rebounded. Two large dealer auctions, in particular, stand out. First was a huge Ritchie Brothers auction in St. Louis, where 32 mostly late-model combines sold. I thought the high number of combines would lead to more soft sale prices.
Nope. Sale prices ticked in a notch higher than I was expecting – like $220,000 for the 2010 Model 9770 STS with 346 engine hours.
More proof of solidifying late-model combine values came on a July 21, 2011, online dealer auction at Purplewave.com. This was an absolute auction for Dean Ag Services, a large Caterpillar dealer in western Missouri and eastern Kansas with 25 mostly late-model combines. Once again, prices ticked in a bit higher than I was guessing, starting with a 1999 Case IH Model 2388 combine with 2,733 engine hours. It was in good condition and sold for $93,500. I'd been seeing similar 2388s selling in the high $60,000s to low $80,000s at auction.
The same July 21 Purplewave.com online auction also had a 2008 Deere 9670 STS with 993 engine hours go for $176,000 (10% buyer's premium included), a very strong sale price.
On farm retirement and estate auctions, I have continued to see very strong sale prices on used combines in very good condition like the 1997 Deere 9500 with 2,148 engine hours that sold for $65,500 at a Minnesota sale in August.
Remember how I said the used tractor market was hotter? At that same Minnesota auction, a 1991 Case IH 7110 tractor with 1,477 hours sold for $57,000, which was a new record-high sale price.