Six months after Harmony Agriculture and Food went into liquidation, 900 hectare beef cattle feedlot WestBeef has been listed by receiver National Australia Bank.
At 46 Watson Road, Burakin, near Lake Moore, about 250 kilometres north east of Perth, the livestock logistics asset is registered to fatten 7500 cattle units headed for abattoirs.
Colliers International’s director of Agribusiness, Jesse Manuel and Greg O’Meara expect the Wheatbelt located WestBeef property, with an “abundant supply of grain and hay”, to sell for about $5 million.
Mr Manuel added the holding provides access to a broad catchment area for the sourcing of livestock out of both the pastoral areas and the inside country.
“The property is also accessible by multi-combination road trains”.
“WestBeef is located only 260 kilometres north east of the Fremantle Port…on the doorstep to Western Australia’s pastoral zone with abundant cattle operations,” the agent said.
“In addition to cattle finishing WestBeef can also be utilised as a quarantine depot and spelling facility, with these two important service offerings providing additional revenue opportunities”.
Harmony, established in 2015 backed by China’s Dalian Hesheng Holdings, paid $4.25 million for WestBeef in 2016.
Demand for lot feeding is strong: agents
Colliers International said WestBeef has been operating as a custom feeding operation, holding around 7,000 head on feed, and is continuing to receive strong demand for its services from existing and new customers.
“As a result of the highs in red meat prices in recent years, an increase in the production and marketing of branded beef products and the national dry conditions result in lower grass feed volumes, demand for lot feeding is currently strong,” Mr Manuel said
“Further, grain fed cattle exports to China are increasing steadily, largely fuelled by the impact African Swine Fever has had on protein availability.”
WestBeef close to state’s largest abattoirs: agents
Mr O’Meara said, in terms of processing, Western Australia had 12 privately owned beef abattoirs including five with accreditation for international export.
“Two plants currently have Chinese accreditation,” which, the executive added, others are in the process of gaining.
“The three largest processors with multiple export market accreditation are located in the south-west of Western Australia…within proximity to WestBeef.”
Rawdon Briggs, Colliers International’s Head of Agribusiness Transactions, said “there had been a noticeable trend towards custom feeding facilities, largely driven be beef producers seeking a finishing system to ensure they can provide a consistent product to the market year-round,”
“Custom feeding has also allowed feedlot operators to de-risk their businesses by removing the need to fund the purchase of cattle on feed.
“While demand has been improving, buyers remain focused on quality assets within strategic locations to fodder sources and/or their preferred source of cattle, and in this regard, WestBeef is well-placed”.