Global farm prices show steady growth
There is strong, steady growth and far less volatility than many other commodities.
At a regional level, Central Europe recorded the most significant growth of 20.4% annualised since 2002. However as the graph below shows, increased political concern surrounding rising levels of international investor interest put pressure on values in 2013.
Unsurprisingly, values across Western Europe have been the most varied during the time frame of the index and the annualised average growth for the region was 8% since 2002.
Technological advances in soybean production, particularly in Argentina contributed to annualised growth across South America of 17.5% since 2002, but more recent output price pressure has led to a fall (-9.7%) in annualised growth since 2012.
Across Australasia, annualised growth of 13% since 2002 masks some volatility especially in New Zealand, where values are closely linked to movements in global milk prices. More recently pressure on commodity prices affected values with growth falling by -9.4% in 2015.
In North America, where farmland values are closely linked to commodity prices and farmland profits, the steady annualised growth since 2002 of 7.3% drops significantly for the past three years due to a fall of 5% in 2015.
It is important to note the fundamental factors driving the value of farmland remain. Food production and national food security coupled with competing land uses and a variety of ownership motives will all support farmland value growth in the long term. ■