VIDEO: Largest-ever Australian agricultural auction
FARMERS from Minnesota to the Middle East will have their eyes fixed on Moree on Friday, September 1, when Ritchie Bros holds its largest-ever Australian agricultural auction.
Around 1,000 people are expected to attend the Ritchie Bros auction at Sundown Pastoral's Keytah property, with hundreds more international bidders monitoring the sales online.
It will be the company's second auction at Moree this year, after more than 190 lots went under the hammer in March for a grand total of $4.67m.
Friday's auction of 236 lots is expected to smash that figure and set a record for an unreserved public agricultural auction in Australia.
Ritchie Bros Agricultural Specialist Brandon Murray, who lives in Moree, said the town was ideally situated to bring together sellers and bidders from across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
"Moree is a great hub because it's in the middle of the eastern seaboard and in the heart of a cotton-growing region where farms use a lot of equipment," Mr Murray said.
"This auction is already massive. Domestic demand is very strong and a lot of buyers are coming up from Southern New South Wales and Victoria.
"But overseas interest is healthy too. We have people flying in from New Zealand and the Australian-US dollar exchange rate is tempting to American buyers."
Ritchie Bros live-streams its auctions and enables customers to bid online from anywhere on the planet.
More than $1.7m of stock was sold online at the March auction. Ritchie Bros registered 37 bidders in Canada, 34 in the USA and 17 in Middle Eastern countries.
Planning for the latest auction began when Sundown Pastoral decided to renew the entire inventory of John Deere tractors, headers and planting equipment at Keytah.
Ritchie Bros decided to add more stock to the already large sale to create a bumper marketplace for buyers and sellers.
"Last year cotton was pretty strong and it looks like backing that up again this year, so people are looking to turn over their equipment," Mr Murray said.
"At the same time, there's strong demand for John Deere 8R tractors and a six-to-seven-month waiting time for new models.
"It's no surprise I'm getting 100 calls a day and all the local hotels are booked up.
"Friday is going to be a very big day for Ritchie Bros and Moree."