As this is being posted I am considering selling $8 corn! This excitement will no doubt be crushed when I sell, and corn subsequently jumps to $10. Or we hit a trucking backlog and delivery becomes a struggle. The shortages of combines, planters, and tractors are well understood by now. What about grain hauling equipment? Trailers are not as dependent on microchips, but still require labor, steel and aluminum to be manufactured.
While there are half a dozen quality trailers up for auction right now on Tractor Zoom, that availability is not keeping up with demand. March of 2022 WAS the highest month’s search volume for these grain trailers that we have ever seen to date on Tractor Zoom. “Was” being the key term. April searches surpassed March’s leading position earlier this week. A sure sign of a hot item!
What does this high demand and low supply mean for farmers? I dove into Tractor Zoom’s past few years of auction sales of 40’ – 45’ ag hopper trailers to uncover the answer and understand this market a little better. Wilson and Timpte definitely dominate the auction blocks. See Figure 1 below.
Both manufacturers combine to cover about three quarters of the resale market, although a few other manufacturers are making waves.
Used trailer sales tend not to be too seasonal, with the exception of spring planting season when overall auction volume is down. The short supply stories you’ve heard are real. The number of trailers sold at auction this first quarter of 2022 were only 40% of what they were last year when comparing the first quarter of the past three years. Those sales are just 25% of what was sold at auction in 2020. No farmer wants to be stuck not being able to deliver $8 corn! That incentive plus this short supply have catapulted prices to historic highs. Looking again at just the first quarters of the last three years, the average values this year are 25% higher than 2021. Almost 60% higher than what we saw in 2020!
I’m not positive these extraordinary commodity prices are here to stay. Yet tight food supplies, uncertain weather, fertilizer concerns, and global unrest likely warrant elevated values for the foreseeable future. Ensure your farm has the equipment you need to get your grain to market when you are ready to sell. Set up a saved search on Tractor Zoom to be your eyes on the market. You will be automatically alerted when one that meets your specifications hits the market.
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