New truck orders have decreased for the last four out of five months, and are now at a level not seen since immediately before the rebound in late 2010. New truck sales are still healthy, recovering from a dip early in 2012 to return to a level higher than all of last year save for December. Used truck sales per dealership took a steep dive in May, and preliminary June results indicate a very slight uptick that still leave the results in the “unusually low” category.

So how have these results impacted used truck pricing? The answer, surprisingly, is not to any noticeable extent. The average retail price in May for a used sleeper tractor was $48,026, which was down less than 2% from April. As for June, we now project an uptick in average price, probably in the mid-single-digits.

There is one big reason for the disconnect in new vs. used truck market trends: Supply. The strength in used truck pricing since late 2009 is largely due to the low returning supply of 2008-2011 model year trucks, which has resulted in a shortage of late-model, low-mileage iron. There is no such shortage on the new side. Since OEM’s can build as many new trucks as the market demands, it is rare for new truck supply to be an issue. As such, used truck pricing is insulated from moderate swings in economic conditions, while new truck orders are largely unprotected from these factors.

Stay tuned for final June price and volume results the second week of August.