At roughly $2 billion in year-to-date proceeds, equipment ABS is 50% ahead of last year's volume through April. That said, the market is expected to pick up substantially in May and June, particularly on the agricultural and construction side, according to industry professionals.

Spreads in secondary equipment ABS have come in significantly since year-end 2002, as much as 15 basis points and 30 basis points on two-year and three year fixed-rate seniors, respectively, said John McElravey, director in the asset-backed at Banc One Capital Markets.

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