Three Western Australian stations have sold for a combined $100 million, marking the initial divestment of an aggregation of properties by Hancock Agriculture.
Nerrima Station, totalling 200,000 hectares in the West Kimberley, was sold to Jonathan Emanuel in partnership with the McLarty family from Pinjarra. The property has a carrying capacity of more than 15,000 cattle and sold for more than $30 million.
The adjoining leases of Ruby Plains and Sturt Creek were sold to Northern Territory identity Viv Oldfield. Combined, the two properties cover almost 800,000 hectares in the southeast Kimberly region with a carrying capacity of 25,000 cattle and a price tag of more than $60 million.
In 2017, Gina Reinhardt outbid Mr Oldfield for the S. Kidman & Co cattle station aggregation. The following year, he secured Clifton Hills in South Australia for between $45 million and $50 million, in conjunction with farmer Danny Costello.
Encompassing four pastoral leases, Clifton Hills Station is thought to be the second largest station in Australia, with an area of 16,510 kilometres. At the time he purchased Clifton Hills, Mr Oldfield already owned the adjoining Pandie Pandie Station, and also has an interest in Anado, Horseshoe Bend and New Crown Stations, running a total of 50,000 head of cattle between his properties.
Hancock’s Northern Territory Stations Still for Sale
The remaining Hancock properties for sale are all located in the Northern Territory, including Aroona (147,500 hectares), Willeroo (171,600 hectares), with Riveren and Inverway located across 555,400 hectares of Victoria River Downs country.
Phoenix Park, located near Katherine, is operated as a feedlot and “large-scale export pre-feeding depot” with a license to handle 20,000 head of export cattle. Located just 340 kilometres from Darwin, the property has the capacity to turn off 45,000 head of cattle per year, supported by more than 3,000 hectares of irrigated fodder.
While the sale of the aggregation represents about 20% of Hancock’s 10 million hectares of grazing country, the company will still retain the crown as Australia’s largest land owner. Listing agents Elders Ltd said that the sale represented a “refinement of the overall portfolio following a period of value creation.”
The sale of all seven properties includes almost 110,000 head of cattle and will raise around $300 million.
Land Supply Tight as Farmers Battle FOMO
A bumper forecasted harvest, excellent growing conditions and low interest rates are increasing the demand on farmland, according to a report released by Rabobank.
The Agricultural Land Price Outlook reveals double-digit growth in the median value of farm land in all states except New South Wales and South Australia. Nationally, the value of farmland grew by 6.1% in 2020, to a median of $5,552 per hectares, with Tasmania enjoying an increase of 28.3% to $15,999 per hectare.
Victorian farms grew by 15.8% to $10,981, Queensland bumped up by 15% to $2,734 and Western Australian farms were worth 14.1% more than the previous year at $3,244 per hectare.
ABARES expects the gross value of agricultural products to reach $73 billion in 2021-22 – 8% up on last year’s $68billion record.