Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australian Agribusiness

Demystifying Chinese Investment Australian Agribusiness

Despite perceptions that Chinese investors are buying up large areas of Australian farmland, new research has found that China is not yet a major agricultural investor in Australia, and in fact, may own less than 1 percent of Australian farmland.

Doug Ferguson

NSW Chairman | Head of Asia & International Markets

KPMG Australia

Illuminated train tunnel green

This report into Chinese direct investment by KPMG and The University of Sydney’s China Studies Centre – Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australian Agribusiness – provides the facts on the current scale and composition of Chinese large-scale commercial investment into the Australian agricultural and agribusiness sectors.

It analyses the realities facing China's food demand patterns and outlines practical initiatives Australian companies should take to attract more investment.

Key insights

  • Chinese investors may own less than 1 percent of Australian farmland.
  • Chinese investment into Australia's agricultural sector commenced only quite recently and has been relatively small – by total value and transaction volume.
  • NSW attracted nearly 50 percent of Chinese agribusiness investment, followed by Queensland (40 percent), WA (5 percent) and Tasmania (5 percent).
  • Providing premium safe food to China's rapidly growing middle class presents tremendous new opportunities for Australia's food industry going forward.
  • While government policy is very important to shape the right platform, real change will come from our agribusiness industry and broader rural communities taking a proactive and pragmatic view on changing mindsets, building stronger relationships and making full use of Australia’s competitive advantages.

KPMG Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live and gather as employees, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

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