Mistui Looks to Northern Australia to Deepen Reach in Grain, Cattle
International Japanese investment firm, Mitsui, told ABC Rural that the firm was turning its sights toward northern Australia as it diversifies into food and agriculture under its new “mining and dining’ strategy. On the heels of his promotion to head of Mitsui’s U.S. division, Mitsui & Co. Australia chairman, Yasushi Takahashi told the Australian Financial Review that the firm’s next significant move will be in the form of a large investment in the beef industry, which together with the firm’s 25% stake in Plum Grove, the Western Australia-based wheat handling company, will form the foundation for it ‘mining and dining’ platform.
Australian soybeans are another key investment the firm is exploring.
"...we think there's tremendous potential,” Wendy Holdenson, Mitsui vice president told ABC Rural. "There's a big demand for soybean from our near neighbours [sic] in Indonesia, they consume a product called tempeh, which is a really staple source of their protein.”
"It's in demand for an oil and feed ingredient as well, so soybean could be successfully grown here [in northern Australia] and there could be a freight advantage over competitor exporters such as Brazil, given this regions proximity to Asia.”
Ms. Holdenson expressed that the firm understands the need to secure productive land, manage water supply issues, and address pest challenges, but that Northern Australia provides the benefits of a stable agricultural supply, sufficient infrastructure, and a stable regulatory framework within which to operate.