Chinese group beefs up with $11m purchase of Kyabra StationKyabra Station in the New England region of NSW has sold for $11m to a Chinese buyer. Photo: Supplied

Chinese group beefs up with $11m purchase of Kyabra Station

Chinese group Union Agriculture has snapped up Kyabra Station, a 5259-hectare prime sheep and cattle-breeding property north of Tamworth, for $11 million, taking its agricultural holdings in rural NSW to more than 12,000 hectares.

Union Agriculture is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hebei-based Jiahe Brewery which, according to its website, supplies customers in China with “high-quality beef and sheep meat” as well as producing 400,000 kilolitres of beer every year in Hebei province and Beijing.

In 2011, Union Agriculture paid $13.8 million for more than 4500 hectares of farmland at Galong and Binalong in southern NSW and $7 million for 2840 hectares in Greg Greg east of Wodonga.

The company, which has two Beijing-based directors and two based in Sydney and Launceston, also made an unsuccessful bid in 2014 for the 12,000 hectare south-west Queensland cropping property Undabri, sold by receivers to another Chinese buyer, Orient Agriculture for $30 million.

Kyabra Station covers more than 5000 hectares. Photo: Supplied Kyabra Station covers more than 5000 hectares. Photo: Supplied

ASIA QUEUES UP

Another Chinese group Shanghai Pengxin, controlled by China-based Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming, is expected to be the preferred bidder for the vast S.Kidman & Co portfolio, excluding Anna Creek.

All these transactions are part of a huge wave of Asian investment into prime Australian farmland.

Large-scale beef, lamb and dairy-producing properties are the most sought-after properties, driven by the massive and growing demand among the Chinese middle-classes for these foods.

Kyabra Station previously carried 3000 cross-bred ewes producing prime lambs. Photo: Supplied Kyabra Station previously carried 3000 cross-bred ewes producing prime lambs. Photo: Supplied

Kyabra, which traded as the Kentucky Learning Centre in the New England district of NSW was offloaded by the Lytton-Hitchins family, which bought it in 1995 and transformed it into one of the region’s premier merino breeding and woolgrowing enterprises.

It was marketed by Chris Meares of Meares & Associates and Geoffrey Leedham of Landmark Harcourts, Armidale.

FINE WOOL AND WEANERS

“The property is renowned for its outstanding weaner cattle, its superfine wool. and prime lamb production,” according to marketing material for Kyabra Station.

In the past two years the property ran over 1000 agisted cattle and and has previously carried 3000 cross-bred ewes producing prime lambs.

The sale included a five-bedroom sandstone homestead, built in 2001, four other homes, a woolshed, cattle yards, an artificial insemination centre, stables, hay and machinery sheds.

Both CBRE and Colliers International are forecasting rural properties geared towards beef production to be most sought-after assets by agribusiness investors in 2015.

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