Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers says it’s in the midst of the largest industrial auction it has ever held at its site in Nisku.
Randy Wall, Canadian president of Ritchie Bros., says the country’s slumping energy sector means there’s available inventory of heavy machinery that would otherwise be in use.
“What we’ve been seeing is that sellers have been, already, rightsizing their fleets for about 18 months as they’ve been looking forward to their book of business and what they have been forecasting,” explained Wall. “And many companies have been downsizing their fleets already, for quite some time. And others are taking advantage of larger numbers of quality machines available and buying used instead of buying new.”
Wall says most of the oil and gas equipment can be repurposed and used elsewhere to dig holes, push dirt and lift heavy loads.
He says about 10,600 items are up for sale this week in Nisku, compared to around 7,700 items last year, adding when Alberta was in its strongest economic state more than 80 per cent of everything sold at auction would stay in the province, but now the number has dropped to around 50 per cent.
“So, yes, there’s lots less buying activity from Albertans, but fully 50 per cent of everything that we’re selling is actually staying here. So there is still economy and business. There are still people who are producing goods and building roads and doing construction projects.”
Wall says they have a lot more American buyers due to the dollar exchange, and that only helps to drive up the price as they compete with Canadians who are also looking for a good deal at an auction with no reserve prices.
This week’s event — which ends on Saturday — was extended to five days when Ritchie Bros. realized how much stock it had to auction off. (td)