Mildura rural market faced with changing global macroeconomic conditions: HTW rural

Mildura rural market faced with changing global macroeconomic conditions: HTW rural
Mildura rural market faced with changing global macroeconomic conditions: HTW rural

The developing Covid-19 virus has coincided with the breaking of the drought in the Mildura region and has injected much needed confidence into the dryland farming and grazing sector, according to the June Herron Todd White (HTW) rural report. 

The valuation firm looked at the influence of trade wars, pandemic outcomes and commodity prices on the rural sector, and provided an update of how rural real estate is performing across locations and industries. 

A recent discussion with a Millewa (west of Mildura) farmer reports that for the two years up to 31 December 2019 only 157mm of rain was recorded.

In the past 3 months of 2020 they have received over 160mm which has provided an optimum autumn break with the majority of crops now planted.

The long range forecasts suggesting above average rainfall for the region has also given producers the hope of a very good season, the report noted. 

Since January there has been renewed interest in Millewa land which for the past five years has pretty much remained stagnant in regard to value.

The report notes five properties have been sold/contracted over the past 4-5 months (all to ‘outside’ purchasers) with value levels 10 to 20 per cent above previous levels achieved in the past two years.

Marketing of the 2020 table grape crop has been affected by the Covid -19 pandemic, with supply chain and logistics disruptions into most of our export markets. This ultimately resulted in reduced price levels at the back end of the harvest, and also an oversupply in our domestic market," the valuation firm said. 

The growth in recent years of direct purchase agreements between supermarkets and some larger growers has provided these growers with some greater certainty in the disposal of fruit onto the domestic scene.

"We are aware of one significant table grape property recently being contracted for sale at levels slightly firmer than indicated by previous sales, which suggests there is long term confidence in the industry and that Covid-19 has not had any immediate effect on buyer demand," the valuation firm said. 

The citrus harvest has commenced in this region with high hopes of another good season. Early reports suggest that fruit quality and size is superior to 2019 however yields are likely to be slightly down.

Initial early season pricing indicates firm levels of between $750 and $1000 per tonne for premium early navel varieties. The main concerns facing the industry revolve around the political tension with China, particularly if China was to ‘shut its door’ on Australian fruit, the report says. 

However, the industry is hopeful that there is sufficient demand from other countries to absorb our supply albeit at a likely reduced price.

"With a change in market direction it also brings the concern of foreign agents reneging on orders or payments," the valuation firm said. 

The report notes other concerns include sourcing a suitable labour force (heavily dependent on overseas backpackers and islanders) and the lack of information on whether there will be enough available containers and ships to actually move the fruit.

The weaker AUD remains a competitive advantage for exporters and the removal of tariffs on a large proportion of Australian goods is also viewed positively for the Agri sector.

However, the sector is not without its concerns with changing global macroeconomic conditions, including the recent Chinese tariff reviews on barley and the banning of products from certain meatworks is causing concern for future export arrangements.

In addition the Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Indicator index has fallen almost 25 per cent since January 2020 due mainly to the Coronavirus shutdowns of most export countries.

Mildura rural market faced with changing global macroeconomic conditions: HTW rural

A current listing is a 8 hectare vineyard in Merbein priced at $410,000 - $440,000.

The property at Block 97 Sixth Street (pictured above) features underline sprinkler irrigation and electric motor with fertigation. 

It has been planted to 4.2 hectare Sunmuscat, 2.4 hectare Sultana and 0.8 hectare Sugra. 

Mildura rural market faced with changing global macroeconomic conditions: HTW rural

A 1,082 hectare cropping property in Meringue was sold for $965,675 in March.

The 584 Ruchel Road property (pictured above) include a 1950s homestead, separate bungalow, elevated red loam soils and open front machinery shed.

The property has a history of growing wheat, peas, lentils and livestock.  


Rural Property Mildura

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