Property transactions in the agribusiness sector are heating up, with considerable activity in the first six months of 2014, according to Colliers International.
Major agribusiness transactions already recorded this year include the $117 million sale of Harvey Fresh to Parmalat, Hancock Prospecting's $40 million buy-in to the Liveringa and Nerrima cattle stations, the purchase by Andrew Forrest's Minderoo Group of Harvey Beef for a reported $40 million, as well as the $30 million purchase of Jameson Farm in Wongan Hills by Macquarie Group.
Colliers International WA manager agribusiness Greg O'Meara said there had also been a number of agri/industrial transactions covering processing plants and milling facilities, which were sold on a lease-back basis.
He said deals included the $17 million sale of the Milne Feeds site in Welshpool to Charter Hall, which he brokered, and the $50 million-plus sale of the Brownes Dairy site in Balcatta to national property giant Stockland.
"It is an encouraging trend to see local investment in assets amid the noise around foreign investment – there are a number of domestic funds looking to follow suit, but the supply of investment grade stock is limited," Mr O'Meara said.
He said he expected interest in WA agribusiness assets to be sustained in the second half of 2014.
"Cropping has been the media darling with its terrific season and the prospect of another good season ahead – dairy has of course had more than its fair share of media, but the interest in South West dairy assets is strong," Mr O'Meara said.
Also today, Colliers released its Rural and Agribusiness Research and Forecast report, which found Australia's poultry sector and New Zealand dairy businesses were the best performing agribusinesses for the past six months, stimulating the property market.