Used auction prices flatten, retail market continues slide

Updated Aug 9, 2017

Wholesale used truck volumes were benchmarked at a 13-month high last month, according to the most recent NADA Commercial Truck Guidelines industry report.

Using its benchmark model report, NADA estimates April’s auction wholesale market prices as down 0.3 percent month-over-month but well above the 1.5 to 2 percent rule of thumb set at the beginning of the 2017 year.

The MY 2011 to 2013 used truck cohort, in particular, was mixed last month. MY 2013 tractors trended up 0.8 percent to $31,443, while 2012 tractors were down 0.8 percent to $26,314, and 2011 tractors were down 1.3 percent to $23,810. Overall, those numbers align with other data recorded in the first quarter.

“Combined with the higher volume in March and April, we view these flat to upward pricing results positively. It is looking more likely that auction pricing has hit bottom,” NADA says.

In the retail market, the MY 2011 to 2013 cohort continued to trend lower year-over-year. Average pricing for this cohort in March was $61,371, or $1,109 (1.8 percent) lower than February. NADA says first quarter pricing for this group is running $5,216 (7.6 percent) lower than in the same period of 2016.

Additionally, depreciation averaged 3 percent per month in the first quarter, identical to last year, and about a full point higher than NADA’s initial estimate.

“As in the wholesale channel, monthly fluctuations in our averages are attributable to a varying mix of models,” NADA says. “Since the retail channel generally lags the auction channel, we expect continued moderation in retail depreciation at least in the short term.”

In the medium-duty space, pricing was strong but volume lagged last month. NADA says buyers appear to be most interested in the newest, lowest-mileage equipment.

Looking at the entirety of the used truck marketplace, NADA says: “Overall sentiment about the trucking economy is improving. It is possible we are finally seeing a degree of increased demand for used trucks. Values will continue to be impacted by returning supply, but evidence is building that pricing has found its floor. ”

To read the entirety of this month’s Guidelines report, please CLICK HERE.

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