Americans are the biggest overseas buyers of dairy land in this country, followed by Chinese

American investors are the biggest overseas buyers of New Zealand dairy land, a study by accounting firm KPMG has revealed.

KPMG analysed approvals given by the Overseas Investment Office for the purchase of dairy land in 2013 and 2014 and found that 54% of the land that was acquired by offshore buyers was purchased by investors from the US, followed by investors from China who purchased 12%.

The remaining land was spread among buyers from a dozen other countries led by Swedish buyers who purchased 6% of the dairy land.

KPMG partner Justin Ensor said the results threw light on the common misconception that investors from China and Hong Kong were the main overseas buyers of dairy land in this country.

“There is a widespread perception that it’s a thin market comprised of Chinese and Hong Kong investors who are buying our dairy land,” he said.

“In reality though the market has a broad base of investors.”

KPMG’s review found that 26 purchases of dairy land were approved by the OIO between January 2013 and December 2014, and only one of those, the purchase of Synlait Farms, was by Chinese interests.

“China’s overseas investment in dairy land is not as dominant as often assumed,” KPMG’s report said.

“While China has continued to inject high levels of investment into processing assets, this appears not to be mirrored for dairy land.” 

The report found that the OIO approved the sale of 28,312 hectares of dairy in 2013-2014, of which US investors bought 15,404 hectares, Chinese investors bought 3305 hectares and Swedish investors purchased 1674 hectares.

To read KPMG’s full report click on the link below: