Euro Auctions has been conducting unreserved auctions of industrial plant, construction equipment and agricultural machinery around the world for the past 20 years; and last September held its first ever unreserved sale at its new permanent site in Dubai. Here Derek Bleakley, Euro Auctions’ Dubai Manager, provides an insight into its operations and what the future has in store.
Background on Euro Auctions
Today, Euro Auctions conducts over 60 major auctions every year, generating sales in excess of £400 million ($560m/2057m AED). A trusted partner for buying and selling plant, It operates from 11 permanent sites in eight countries, plus hosts a number of bespoke specialist off site sales. In 2017 some 6,000 vendors consigned over 74,000 lots to its auctions, each marketed globally to over 150,000 buyers in over 95 countries.
Its unreserved auction policy means that everything sells to the highest bidder with no minimum bid or reserved price and no buy backs. When the hammer is down, that lot is sold, and is subsequently shipped to wherever it’s needed around the globe to meet demand!
Euro Auctions at The Big 5 Heavy
“Auctioning large and complex pieces of equipment requires knowledge and space so at the Big 5 Heavy the Euro Auctions team is focussing on our important role as experts as a service providers rather than physical products. We will be reconnecting with existing customers and building relationships; explaining to both existing and potential customers about the unrivalled service levels we offer; the efficient and easy processes we deliver; along with how we market the equipment and the overall positive experience Euro Auctions delivers.
“We are also looking to engage with potential new consigners and sellers. By attracting ‘as new’ and more quality used equipment to include in future auctions, this helps build interest, appeal and bidder attendance at future sales delivering the type and quality of equipment demanded and helping build greater loyalty to the Euro Auctions brand.
Success in Dubai and elsewhere
“We had long wanted to add an operation in the Middle East; thus providing a link between our operations in Europe and those in Hong Kong and Australia. Having identified the 90,000 m3 site in the Jebel Ali Free Zone of Dubai with its purpose built auction arena, we’ve been absolutely delighted with how the first couple of sales have gone; firmly placing our operation in the region and on the calendar.
“Bidder numbers were up more than 40% from the first to the second Dubai auction and this success also converts into more buyers participating at the sales. In turn this delights vendors, eager to consign further quality lots to the upcoming March and subsequent sales, so that they can benefit from the strong hammer prices achieved.
“Further afield our first sales of the year at Kissimmee, Florida, USA, under our Yoder & Frey banner, and in Leeds in the UK, along with other global sales, have all contributed to a fantastic start to 2018.
The construction machinery sector in the Middle East
“At Euro Auctions we’ve detected a significant shift in the commercial buying processes in the Middle East over recent months with large equipment users and the leasing companies that support them, becoming more financially aware of the ownership, operational cost and the disposal values of their inventory, and a desire to extract more value out of each project.
“And whilst the global reduction in oil prices has definitely had a knock on impact on some construction contracts with a few high profile projects having been postponed in recent months, construction is evident on almost every corner in Dubai and across the region. Buyers are streaming back to the market and in general, used equipment prices across the Middle East have bottomed out over the past year. In some instances, because prices are actually lower than those commanded in parts of Europe and the Far East, we are seeing an influx of new buyers looking to acquire equipment for export back to meet their local requirements.
“The models sold in the region also tend to be focused more towards functionality rather than incorporating additional gadgets, making maintaining them easier. However, in some instances nearly new, well maintained, low hours equipment in all shapes and guises, will return to the market within a couple of years of purchase as they command premium prices and are in much demand while other operators will hold onto equipment for longer, preferring to and extract more operational value out of the asset rather than write off the depreciation.
“Either way, there is still significant activity underway right across the whole region and at Euro Auctions we firmly believe that the construction equipment market here is clearly poised to go from strength to strength.”