THE McMillan Pastoral Company has snapped up one of the first major cattle station sales in Northern Territory for almost two years.
The private company purchased the 481,000 hectare Calvert Hills in the east of the territory for $15 million walk in, walk out with 15,000 head of cattle.
More information on the sale to come in tomorrow's report.
Businessman Harold Mitchell has called the bottom of Australia's cattle station market, shelling out $4.3 million for a massive cattle station in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Mr Mitchell, who has played a low-key but important role in negotiations with Indonesia on the live export trade, snapped up the 177,100ha Margaret River Station with 6000 head of cattle.
Recent evidence in the real estate market attests to considerable discounting.
A central Queensland cattle property, Plattaway Station, sold at a mortgagee auction for $5.1 million. It was previously listed for private sale at $7.5 million in 2008.
Australia's cattle station market has taken time to collapse under a multitude of pressures such as high debt and high Australian dollar, the federal government's live export suspension, a subsequent oversupply, and a drought.
All those factors are starting to shift in a more favourable direction. The Australian dollar plummeted in recent months, making exports cheaper and helping to drive the earnings capacity on these cattle stations. Discussions with Indonesia – the main export destination for cattle from Australia's northern station – are also pressing ahead.
Meanwhile 68,000 hectare property Kings Plains, outside Cooktown, Queensland, is now in the hands of three receivers and managers from KPMG.
The Kings Plains move comes as R.M. Williams Agricultural Holdings has been placed into receivership with PPB Advisory. Moves such as these reflect the pain cattle station operators are going through.
Last month, the Supreme Court of Queensland issued a warrant for the seizure of two cattle stations at Hughenden in central Queensland, after an application from receivers PPB representing the ANZ Banking Group.