US-based farmland investor and major Australian nut orchard owner, Hancock Agricultural Investment Group, has scored a record-breaking price for the sale of its massive macadamia plantings in Queensland's Burnett region.
Bundaberg Sugar's Belgian parent company, Finasucre, has paid about $59 million for 10 Bundaberg district properties and their 1018 hectares of trees.
The Winfield spread, part of Hancock's South Australian-based, Ironbark Farming Company's assets, represents the largest single macadamia portfolio in Australia.
Hancock's diverse horticultural interests across its 150,000ha farmland portfolio, spread from Quebec in Canada to Victoria, include almonds in Australia, walnuts, cotton, vegetables and wine and tablegrapes.
Finasucre, which already has local macadamia interests and about 20,000ha of conventional and organic cane cropping country, also grows sweet potatoes, brassica vegetable crops and raspberries and blueberries.
It has been ramping up its cropping diversification plans to "guard against too much influence from world sugar prices".
The aggregation, about 60 kilometres north of Bundaberg, has 644ha of mature macadamia orchards and licences for almost 2000 megalitres of water rights.
The Bundaberg area's macadamia crop has grown five fold in the past 30 years to become is Australia's biggest production region, harvesting about 20,000 tonnes of nut in shell annually.
About 7000ha are planted to macadamias.
Olam's US almond move
Meanwhile, prominent southern Australian nut grower and processor, and global agribusiness giant, Olam International, expects to take over US processor and ingredient maker, Hughson Nut, in November after a $78m acquisition.
Singapore-base, Olam's is one of the world's largest almond growers, with 19,000ha of orchards, most of which are in Australia.
Its other agribusiness activities extend across 60 countries and include an array of horticultural and broadacre crop processing and farming interests.
Olam's edible nuts business includes a global network of procurement, processing, and distribution operations for almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios and walnuts.
California-based Hughson Nut is one of the state's biggest raw almond processors, also producing almond ingredients, sliced and diced nuts and almond flour.
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