Strong pricing at Ritchie Bros.' Western Canadian agricultural auctions

Demand for prime farmland and agricultural equipment driven by high commodity and livestock prices

SASKATOON, April 26 /CNW/ - Vancouver, B.C.-based, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE: RBA) and (TSX: RBA), the world's largest industrial auctioneer, has experienced strong pricing and increased bidder registrations at its Western Canadian agricultural auctions so far in 2011. From March 1 to April 23, 2011, the Company conducted 48 agricultural auctions in Western Canada. During the period of April 2 - 9, 2011, the Company held 12 agricultural auctions, including multi-million dollar unreserved auctions in Nut Mountain, Saskatchewan (April 2); Lacombe, Alberta (April 4); Wroxton, Saskatchewan (April 5); and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (April 7), generating aggregate gross auction proceeds of more than CA$40 million—a significantly above trend amount for this business period. The Ritchie Bros. April 7 agricultural auction at its permanent facility in Saskatoon registered 3,400 customers to compete on more than CA$18 million worth of machinery.

Ritchie Bros. holds strictly unreserved auctions, with every item selling to the highest bidder regardless of price. Bids are made in person (on-site or on-the-farm), online in real time through the Company's 21-language web site www.rbauction.com, or by proxy—also referred to as an absentee bid—for people who aren't able to bid in person or online on auction day.

"During the first week of April, our Western Canadian on-the-farm auctions posted our strongest ever results for number of bidders and online sales, with interest coming from local and out-of-region farmers and investors," said Jordan Clarke, Area Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "In particular, due to the wet start to this year's agricultural season in Western Canada, we have witnessed increased demand for in-season agricultural equipment such as large, high horsepower 4WD and belted agricultural tractors and air drills."

Added Mr. Clarke: "Above average commodity and livestock prices have also affected the pricing of farm equipment and prime farmland in the region. A farmer's spending tends to be more aggressive if they see a better return on their crops, and if they see an opportunity to make money down the road they're willing to invest in equipment and land. As a result, we have witnessed appreciation in the value of farmland so far this season has."

Nut Mountain, SK (April 2)
The Ritchie Bros. unreserved auction in Nut Mountain on April 2 featured more than 360 equipment items, which attracted more than 1,100 bidders from 15 countries, including five Canadian provinces and 18 U.S. states.  More than 500 people (47 percent) at the auction bid online, purchasing 25 percent of total equipment items sold. Some of the equipment highlights from the auction included a 2006 Peterbilt 379L T/A truck tractor, which sold for CA$92,000.

Equipment consignor Ted Cawkwell says he chose Ritchie Bros. to conduct the sale of his family's multi-generational farm in Nut Mountain after interviewing a few other local auction companies. "I chose Ritchie Bros. because it is the largest farm auction company in the world with a broad range of customers they can reach globally in addition to locally," said Mr. Cawkwell. "The ability for customers to bid online definitely helped get a higher return on our farm machinery than we anticipated—many items even left the province. I wasn't surprised by the size of the bidding crowd. I had complete confidence that Ritchie Bros. could deliver, and they did."

Lacombe, AB (April 4)
At an unreserved auction in Lacombe, Alberta on April 4, Ritchie Bros. attracted more than 740 bidders with more than 50 percent of people bidding online. A highlight of the auction was the sale of 10 parcels of land for a combined value of CA$4.9 million. Other real estate items sold in the Lacombe auction included:

  • Four acres of residential property with a 3,800 square foot home
  • 155± home quarter title acres with a 1,100± sq. foot house
  • 154± home quarter title acres with a 1,000± sq. foot house
  • 1426± title acres with $23,800± surface lease revenue

Wroxton, SK (April 5)
An unreserved on-the-farm auction in Wroxton, Saskatchewan on April 5 drew a bidding crowd of 750+ people, of which 400 individuals bid online. The auction featured 38 parcels of farmland for a combined 5,808 title acres and more than 150 agricultural equipment items. Altogether, the 38 parcels of farmland sold for CA$3.1 million. Other auction highlights included the sale of two late model FWD John Deere agricultural tractors—one which sold for CA$197,500 to an online buyer from Alberta and another that sold for CA$175,000 to a Saskatchewan buyer.

Ritchie Bros. currently has more than 20 upcoming agricultural auctions scheduled, including a large on-the-farm auction for KFC Farms in Cache Creek, B.C. on May 28. For a complete list of Ritchie Bros. auctions visit the Company's web site at www.rbauction.com.

About Ritchie Bros.
Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE: RBA) and (TSX: RBA) is the world's largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and online bidders than any other company in the world. Ritchie Bros. offers services that enable the world's builders to easily and confidently exchange equipment. The Company conducts hundreds of unreserved public auctions each year, selling a broad range of used and unused equipment, trucks and other assets utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling, mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries. Ritchie Bros. has over 110 locations in more than 25 countries, including 43 auction sites worldwide. The Company maintains a web site at www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at www.RitchieWiki.com

Investors and potential investors should note that this information may not be indicative of the overall financial performance of the Company for this or any future period.

ATTENTION MEDIA: Photos from Ritchie Bros. on-the-farm auctions in Nut Mountain and Wroxton are available for media use at http://www.rbauction.com/media. Members of the public and the media can follow Ritchie Bros. on Twitter @RitchieBros.


SOURCE Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

For further information:

Jose Vargas, Corporate Communications Specialist, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Phone: +1.778.331.5439 or email jvargas@rbauction.com

Or

Jordan Clarke, Area Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers
Phone: +1.306.933.9333 or email jclarke@rbauction.com


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