US investors biggest buyers of dairy land – KPMG analysis

China accounted for far fewer hectares but was close to the US in value.

United States buyers were the main source of investors in dairy land during 2013-2014, according to analysis by KPMG.

The study is far from definitive when it comes to the value of land acquired - as opposed to size of landholding.

This is because only 18 of the 26 successful applicants to the Overseas Investment Office were required to publicly disclose the prices paid.

The KPMG report finds US buyers were the largest investor group, snapping up 15,404ha of dairy land during that two-year period – accounting for 56% of the freehold hectares sold, and 25.5% of the declared prices paid.

Chinese buyers accounted for 3305ha – or one out of 24 transactions for dairy land approved by the Overseas Investment Office in 2014. The acquisition of Synlait Farms accounted for 12% of hectares sold.

But when it came to the declared prices paid, Chinese buyers accounted for 21.3% or $63.3 million. US buyers accounted for 25.5% of the declared prices at $78.8 million.

Next on the list by value and size was Sweden, followed by the UK, Canada and Switzlerland.

c.hutch@clear.net.nz

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