Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Fund braves weather setbacks to snap up Australian farms"

From Agrimoney:
If it isn't too wet, or too windy, it's too dry.
There in one good reason not to invest in Australia - weather - as this season has amply demonstrated.
Queensland's cotton and sugar farmers have braved floods and 180mph winds, while grain growers have suffered either too much rain on the east of the country, or too little in the west.
Still, that does not make the country a no-hoper for agricultural investment, says John Paul Thwaytes, a former UK futures, foreign exchange and fixed income trading boss, now getting into agricultural investment.
In fact, positively spun, Australia's woes this season could prove good timing for the JPT Capital fund he is setting up to buy and run wheat farms in the southern hemisphere's top exporter of the grain, and which is being prepared for imminent flotation.
"We had reckoned on having two poor years" out of the eight or so the fund was initially set up to last," Mr Thwaytes tells Agrimoney.com.
"Hopefully, this was one of them."
'Not a war zone' 
Nor, indeed, do the weather setbacks detract from the other attributes of being in Australia, in JPT's eyes, including an "advanced and reliable" legal system, and a stable economy and governance too.
As the fund puts it: "Australia is not a war zone, it is not under threat of invasion, military coup or civil unrest." (Mind you, similar might have been said about much of North Africa until this year.)
Australia also ticks the JPT box for its certainty of export rules - unlike, say, Argentina or Russia, as championed by other farm investors – and its advanced property rights.
Better than Brazil? 
And - in what appears a slight at Brazil, very much a top destination for foreign farm investors - Australia's agricultural area is already defined and exploited....MORE
We've been following this trend for the last three years and have been asked when will it top?
One sign will be when Optima Fund Management brings their American Farmland Company public, still a few years away.

See also:
Farmland Boom Provides Bright Spot for U.S. Midwest Real Estate